Men's Soccer Prepares For In-State Test Against Oakland
Oct. 3, 2006
EAST LANSING, Mich. - The Michigan State men's soccer team prepares for its first in-state test of the week, traveling to Rochester, Mich., to take on Oakland on Oct. 4, for a 4 p.m. kickoff. At the end of the week (Oct. 8) the Spartans head to Ann Arbor for a Big Ten match-up with Michigan.
"This is a big week for us," MSU head coach Joe Baum stated. "Oakland usually has a pretty good team and always plays us tough. It's always a battle against Michigan, and a game our kids really look forward to. We have to make sure that we take each game as it comes and not look ahead to the next one."
Pacing the attack for Michigan State (6-3-1, 0-2-1 Big Ten) is junior Kenzo Webster. Webster, who only scored two goals in 2005, has scored six of the Spartans' 10 goals this season. Louis Stephens III has added two scores, while Zac Scaffidi and Matt Kreikemeier have chipped in one goal each. MSU has out-shot its opponents, 135-101, and has the upper hand in the corner kick advantage, 44-32.
Of the Spartans' 10 games this season, eight have been decided by one goal. Michigan State is 6-2 in one-goal decisions, with both of those losses coming in double overtime. The Spartans have not scored more than two goals in a game this season, and have only notched more than one goal on two occasions.
Senior goalkeeper Jason Tillman heads a stingy Spartan defense that has allowed just seven goals this season. Michigan State has posted six shutouts in 2006, upping Tillman's career total to 18. Recording 24 saves, Tillman maintains a 0.49 goals-against average and .774 save-percentage.
In its last outing, Oakland (3-8-0, 1-2-0 Mid-Con) was edged, 1-0, by Valparaiso on Sept. 30. The Grizzlies have scored eight goals in 11 games this season. Stefan St. Louis and Jim Denk account for half of the offense, each notching two goals apiece. OU has used three goalkeepers this season, with sophomore Steve Clark seeing a majority of the work, playing 663:14 minutes, allowing 12 goals for a 1.63 goals-against average.
Oakland owned a 10-9-0, 4-3-0 Mid-Con, record in 2005 and returns seven starters and 12 letterwinners from that squad. The Grizzlies have had MSU's number the last few years, going 6-2 (including a 1-0 win last season) against the Spartans since 1998.
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