Men's Soccer Faces Penn State In First Big Ten Match-up
Sept. 15, 2006
EAST LANSING, Mich. - The Michigan State men's soccer team will travel to Penn State, for its first Big Ten match-up of the season, Sept. 17, at 2 p.m. The Spartans are off to a 5-1-0 record this fall and were ranked No. 13 in the nation this week by Soccer America.
COACH BAUM's TAKE -- "Penn State is an outstanding team and has an outstanding program," MSU head coach Joe Baum stated. "They are a very defensive team, and with that we know that won't be many chances to score. With their defensive play, and the defensive mindset of our team, it is going to be a one or two-goal game. We need to make sure we capitalize on the opportunities that our given to us."
IN THE POLLS -- After a No. 20 ranking last week, Michigan State has moved up to No. 13 in the latest Soccer America national poll (Sept. 11). The National Soccer Coaches Association of America/Adidas poll currently has the Spartans ranked sixth in the Great Lakes Region.
TILLMAN TABBED BIG TEN PLAYER OF THE WEEK -- Senior goalkeeper Jason Tillman was tabbed Big Ten Player of the week after posting two shutouts last weekend. Tillman maintains the best goals against average (0.30) and save percentage (.895) in the Big Ten. His four shutouts this season also are a conference best, bringing his career total to 16. This is Tillman's third Big Ten Player of the Week accolade, collecting two in 2005.
WEBSTER NAMED TO SOCCER AMERICA TEAM OF THE WEEK -- Junior Kenzo Webster was named to Soccer America's Team of the Week after netting all three goals in MSU's 1-0 decision over VCU and 2-0 win over Butler. Webster, who scored two goals in 2005, has scored five of MSU's seven goals this season, including three game-winners.
IN REVIEW -- Michigan State picked up two wins at the Wolverine Invitational, hosted by Michigan, this past weekend. The Spartans, ranked No. 20 in last week's Soccer America poll, pulled off a 1-0 upset over No. 19 Virginia Commonwealth on Sept. 8. MSU then handed Butler a 2-0 loss on Sept. 10. Michigan State is 2-0 against ranked opponents this season, having defeated No. 3 New Mexico on Sept. 1.
WEBSTER, TILLMAN EARN MVP HONORS -- Junior forward Kenzo Webster earned Offensive MVP honors at the Wolverine Invitational for his three-goal performance. Senior goalie Jason Tillman was named the Defensive MVP, posting a total of eight saves in two shutouts.
A LOOK AT PENN STATE -- Penn State has gotten off to a 1-4-1 start in 2006, most recently battling to a 1-1 tie with No. 23 Boston University on Sept. 10. Three of the Nittany Lions' four losses have come against ranked opponents this season. Nineteen-year head coach Barry Gorman, the 2005 Big Ten and NSCAA/Adidas Mid-Atlantic Region Coach of the Year, returns nine of 11 starters and 15 letterwinners overall from a 2005 team that went undefeated and untied in conference play, secured its fi rst ever Big Ten regular season crown, and captured its third Big Ten Championship. The Nittany Lions were picked to finish second in the Big Ten in 2006 and have been ranked as high as 13th in the National Soccer Coaches Association poll this season.
A YEAR AGO -- A year ago, Penn State defeated Michigan State twice, once in the regular season and once in the postseason. The Nittany Lions knocked off the Spartans 1-0 in East Lansing on Oct. 23 by virtue of Simon Omekanda's double overtime game-winning goal. The victory clinched for Penn State its first-ever Big Ten regular season championship. En route to its third Big Ten Championship, Penn State met Michigan State again, this time claiming a 2-0 win in the
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