Sept. 15, 2011
Michigan State looks to snap a two-game skid when it participates in the Big Ten/BIG EAST Challenge this weekend. The Spartans travel for a Friday night game at Marquette, then return home to DeMartin Stadium for a showdown with No. 22 Notre Dame on Sunday afternoon.
State of the Spartans
MSU dropped both it's home games last weekend. Michigan State and Georgetown took 108 minutes to settle their game last Friday, but a goal by Ian Christianson on a restart was the golden goal as the Hoyas took a 2-1 decision. The Spartans had a pair of penalty kick opportunities - one in the 70th minute, another in the first overtime - that they could not convert. Ryan Keener had the lone goal for the Spartans, which was his first career tally.
The Spartans dropped a tough 1-0 decision to Marshall in the weekend finale. Jeremy Clark had four saves for the Spartans, but MSU struggled to maintain consistent offensive pressure and could not find the back of the net. With 13 minutes remaining in the opening half, Marshall took a 1-0 lead with a goal by Tom Jackson, which stood as the only score of the day.
Stat of the Week
Through five games, the game-winning goal in a 1-0 loss to Marshall is the only goal that MSU has allowed in the run of play - the lone goal in the Detroit game was on a penalty kick, and both goals against in the UConn and Georgetown games came on restarts.
Big Ten Leaders
Rubin Bega ranks in a seventh-place tie in the statistical rankings with his two goals on the season. Keeper Jeremy Clark is fourth in the Big Ten in both goals against average (1.14) and saves per game (3.00).
A Look Back
MSU swept the two games in the Big Ten/BIG EAST Challenge last season.
Cyrus Sadee's first goal of the season stood as the game-winner as the No. 19 Spartans posted a 1-0 victory over the Golden Eagles at DeMartin Stadium. Saydee's game-winner came midway through the second half, on a beautiful shot that had little room for error. He dribbled out of the right corner, eluded a defender, and launched a sharp-angle shot that ended up in the left-side netting.Avery Steinlage made seven saves to pick up his first shutout of the season. Marquette outshot their hosts by a 12-9 margin, and held a 7-5 edge in corner kicks.
Domenic Barone scored twice and Saydee assisted on both markers as the Spartans earned a 2-0 victory at Notre Dame two days later. Steinlage made six saves in the contest, recording his second consecutive shutout.
MSU will be in Milwaukee to tangle with Marquette on Friday. The Golden Eagles are 1-4-0 on the season, with their lone victory coming in double overtime over Western Michigan, 3-2.
Freshman C. Nortey shares the team scoring lead with junior Andy Huftalin, each with a pair of goals and an assist to their credit. Adam Lysak and Axel Sjoberg have the other scores for Marquette this season. Keeper David Check has carried the bulk of the load for the Eagles this season, posting a .767 save percentage and 1.66 GAA in four games.
Eyes on the Irish
MSU will host Notre Dame Sunday, and the Irish will tangle with Michigan in South Bend prior to Sunday's contest. Notre Dame, No. 22 in this week's NSCAA poll, are 2-1-2 on the season. The Irish own victories over Dayton and Bucknell, and have tied Indiana and Denver. Their lone loss came at the hands of unranked St. Louis.
Ryan Finley has been the most productive goal scorer, with three of ND's nine goals. Harrison Shipp has a goal and two asssists, and five other players have chipped in with a goal each. Keeper Will Walsh boasts a 1.07 GAA and .769 save percentage.
The Big Ten Network will air 10 men's soccer games this fall, and of the nine that have been announced, three will feature Michigan State in Big Ten Conference matchups at DeMartin Stadium. The Spartans host Ohio State on Sunday, Oct. 2 at noon, which will be the second game of the men's soccer package on the Network. The Spartans will host Penn State a week later, also a noon game, and then will tangle with Michigan on Sunday, Oct. 30 in a battle for the Big Bear Trophy.
MSU men's soccer team was tabbed fifth in the pre-season conference polls, as announced by the Big Ten Conference office on Tuesday, Aug. 23. Indiana was selected as the favorite, and Ohio State checks in at No. 2 in the poll matching their finish from a year ago. Penn State follows at No. 3, jumping up a spot from last year's fourth place campaign. Michigan, after winning its first Big Ten Tournament title and advancing to last year's NCAA College Cup semifinals, clocks in at No. 4. Michigan State, Northwestern and Wisconsin round out the poll. The Conference also announced it's list of Players to Watch, and the three MSU players are seniors Rubin Bega and Cyrus Saydee, and a returning all-Big Ten selection, junior Kevin Cope.
MSU gets into Big Ten play next weekend, traveling to Evanston for a Saturday night game against Northwestern.