MSU is 2-5-1 on the season and coming off its Big Ten/BIG EAST challenge weekend where it lost 2-0 at Notre Dame on Friday and suffered a 2-1 heartbreaking loss to Marquette in double overtime last Sunday at home. The game against Marquette was physical, featuring four yellow cards between the two teams to go along with a red card handed out to Blake Skamiera, who will miss Friday's game against Western Michigan because of the card. Adam Montague tied the game up for the Spartans in the 63rd minute with his team-leading second goal of the season. The goal marked the first time that Michigan State has scored at home so far this season, and forced the game to go to overtime before Marquette's Axel Sjoberg scored his second game-winning goal of the weekend in the 108th minute.
The Last Meeting
October 26, 2011
East Lansing, Mich.
Spartans Down Western Michigan, 2-1
Coming off a pair of double-overtime deadlocks last week, the 2-1 victory for MSU men's soccer over Western Michigan on Wednesday was a welcome sight for the team. The Spartans are now 5-7-4 on the season, while Western falls to 5-11-1. MSU is now unbeaten in its last three games and is 3-1-2 in its last six games overall.
Montague leads the team with two goals, followed by Domenic Barone and Cody Henderson, each with a goal and an assist. Kyle Rutz and Nick Wilson are the other Spartans who have recorded goals this season.
Bryce Dobbins enters Friday second in the Big Ten in saves with 26, and he owns a 1.17 GAA and a .722 save percentage, ranking him fifth in the Big Ten in both categories.
Michigan State is 26-2-8 all-time against the Broncos and 14-1-4 at home. Western Michigan is off to their best start since 1984 with a record of 7-1-0. The Broncos are led by Marco Lobo who has four goals and two assists, followed by Ryan Lemasters with 2 goals and 5 assists, and Oliver Mayer and Kyle Farris who have two goals and three assists each.
Sean Lewis is the likely goalkeeper for Western, having allowed only four goals in almost 700 minutes in net so far this season. He holds a 0.52 GAA and a .857 save percentage, and has recorded three shutouts.
Michigan State was selected third in the pre-season Big Ten men's soccer poll. In conjunction with the pre-season survey, Senior Domenic Barone , junior Kevin Cope and sophomore Adam Montague were mentioned on the Big Ten 2012 Players to Watch List.
Five teams on MSU's 2012 slate appear in this week's NSCAA National poll. A sixth, Duke, was on MSU's pre-season slate, a game in which the Spartans came away with a 1-0 victory.
Head Coach Damon Rensing is in his fourth season as head coach, but embarks on his 14th on the Spartan sideline after a standout career for the Spartans (1993-96). Rensing is 31-23-9 in his first three seasons as head coach, but MSU boasts an 110-64-21 (.619) overall record with Rensing on the sidelines, including 11 or more wins in eight seasons. Kylie Stannard and Ben Pirmann serve as the Spartan assistants. Pirmann is also a former Spartan letterwinner, and previously served the program as the volunteer assistant before returning to his alma mater after a coaching stint at Western Michigan. Stannard is a graduate of Creighton, which reached the Elite Eight twice in his career and the semifinals once. Prior to coming to MSU, he was an assistant coach at Northern Illinois. This past summer, Stannard made his debut as the head coach of Detroit City FC, which plays in the National Premier Soccer League. Former MSU keeper Jeremy Clark, (2008-11), is now in his first season as the team's volunteer coach.
There are lots of great ways to follow the soccer program - as well as all 25 of MSU's varsity sports - other than gameday. Videos, previews, and game recaps can be found at www.MSUSpartans.com, while coverage of the team on twitter can be found at @MSUMSoccer and @MSU_Athletics . On facebook, "like" us at www.facebook.com/pages/Michigan-State-Mens-Soccer.
The Big Ten Network will televise three Michigan State men's soccer games live this season. MSU's showdown with 2011 regular-season and Big Ten Tournament champion Northwestern at DeMartin Stadium is the first game (Sept. 30), and the other home game which will be shown is the Oct. 21 date with Wisconsin. The Oct. 14 game at Penn State is the other live broadcast for MSU during the regular season. The Big Ten Network will also televise the Big Ten Tournament, which will be held Nov. 7-11 at Northwestern.
The Spartans begin Big Ten play Sunday, September 30th when they will welcome the reigning Big Ten champion Northwestern Wildcats to DeMartin Stadium. The game will be featured on Big Ten Network, with a 3:30 p.m. kickoff.