Men's Soccer Hosts Penn State on Sunday in Conference Clash
Oct. 2, 2009
The Michigan State men's soccer team (5-2-1) will look for its first conference win of the season as it hosts Penn State (6-3-1) on Sunday at 12 p.m. at DeMartin Stadium. The game will be broadcast live on the Big Ten Network.
The Last Time Out: After not scoring a goal in its last two games, a determined Michigan State team struck quickly as sophomore Rubin Bega scored twice in a three-minute span in the first half and the Spartans downed Valparaiso, 2-0. Junior Spencer Thompson had two assists in the game.
Series History: The Spartans are 8-15-2 all time and 3-6-2 at home against Penn State. Since 2000, the Spartans are 4-6-2 against the Nittany Lions. Last season, MSU won its first game at PSU since 2000 by downing the Nittany Lions, 4-3.
Defense Leads Conference: The staple of the MSU soccer program - defense - has remained true to form this season as the Spartans have allowed a league-low four goals and are tied for the conference lead with five team shutouts. Just twice in the last 20 games has MSU allowed more than one goal while it has posted 15 shutouts in that span.
Steinlage Moves Into Top 10: Junior goalkeeper Avery Steinlage moved into the top 10 on MSU's all-time win chart by winning his 17th career game on Wednesday. Reid Friedrichs (1993-96) hold the all-time wins record with 36.
Steinlage's 14 career shutouts currently rank eighth on the MSU all-time list. John Spink (1984, 86-88) holds the Spartan record with 23 career shutouts.
The junior from Grand Haven currently leads the Big Ten in goals-against average (0.37) and is second in save percentage (0.875).
Bega Leads Offense: With two goals in Wednesday's game, sophomore Rubin Bega now leads the team with five goals and 12 points. Bega, who is tied for sixth in the Big Ten in points and fourth in goals, is one of four Spartans to have at least two goals. The Spartans have been spreading the wealth this season on offense, as six players have multiple assists and points.
Spartans on the Big Ten Network: Today's game marks the second time the Spartans have appeared on the Big Ten Network.MSU is scheduled to appear on the network twice more this season and the semifinals and finals of the Big Ten Championships will also be televised on BTN.
Two Extremes: Earlier this sesaon in MSU's 4-0 win over Wright State, the Spartans recorded 22 shots - their most since Oct. 21, 2007 when they had 22 against Valparaiso in a 1-1 tie. Adversely, the Spartans had just four in their loss to San Diego this season, which was their lowest total since the managed just three in a 2-0 loss to then No. 20 Notre Dame in 2002.
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