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Men's Soccer Opens Big Ten Schedule This Weekend

Sept. 19, 2008

EAST LANSING, Mich. - The Michigan State men's soccer team (2-3) will open the Big Ten portion of its schedule this Sunday, Sept. 21 at No. 15 Ohio State (4-1-1).

Sunday's match will be the first for MSU in nine days after last Sunday's game against UIC was cancelled due to rain and poor field conditions. Last Friday (Sept. 12), MSU handed then-undefeated Buffalo its first loss of the season, 1-0.

The Series: MSU leads the all-time series, 22-14-2, however, Ohio State currently owns a three-game winning streak in the series and won last year's only meeting, 2-0, Nov. 4, 2007, in East Lansing. The last MSU victory in Columbus came in 1994.

Someone New: Sunday's game with the Buckeyes marks the first time since 1985 the two teams have met in a Big Ten opener. Since 1998, MSU has opened the Big Ten season against Indiana (seven times) or Penn State (twice).

Scoring Leader: Senior Doug DeMartin leads MSU in points (11) and goals (5) while ranking second in the Big Ten in the same categories. DeMartin leads the conference in shots with 24 (4.80 per game).

Tough Competition: All three of the Spartans' losses this season have come against teams that were part of last year's NCAA Tournament field. MSU has four more games this season against teams that competed in last year's tournament.

Freshman Contributions: Four true freshmen have seen action for the Spartans this season. Domenic Barone is the only true freshman to have started games this season and has recorded four shots. Cyrus Saydee (Lansing) recorded an assist in the season-opener vs. St. Francis.

The Keepers: Sophomore Avery Steinlage made his first-career start in MSU's win over Buffalo. The Grand Haven, Mich., native made three saves in the win, including a spectacular diving save in the last 15 minutes that preserved the victory.



Redshirt freshman Jeremy Clark started the first four games of the season, recording nine saves.

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