No. 6 MSU Travels to No. 12 WMU
The Spartans take on in-state rival No. 12 Western Michigan Wednesday
EAST LANSING, Mich - No. 6 Michigan State men’s soccer hits the road to begin a season-long three-game road trip. The Spartans open the week in an in-state battle with No. 12 Western Michigan at WMU Soccer Complex on Wednesday, Oct. 4 at 4:30 p.m.
MSU Notes vs. WMU
The Spartans are coming off a 1-1 week with a loss at then-No. 24 Akron and a win against then-No. 16 Ohio State, 5-1. Michigan State’s offsense exploded for a season-high five goals, which was the most scored by the Spartans since a 5-0 win against Washington in 2010.
If available, live video and live stats links will be at www.msuspartans.com.
SCOUTING REPORT: WESTERN MICHIGAN
Like the Spartans, the Broncos have gotten off to a hot start with a 9-1-1 overall record. WMU lost its first game of the season on the road against Portland, 4-1, last week. The Broncos have allowed only 10 goals this season, while scoring 22.
Brandon Bye leads the team in scoring with seven goals and four assists for 18 points. Jay McIntosh is also in double digits in scoring with four goals and six assists for 14 points. In net, Drew Shepherd has play every minute in goal, allowing only 10 goals in over 1,000 minutes of action for a goal against average of 0.89. He has six shutouts this season and had made 21 saves.
Michigan State leads the all-time series with the Western Michigan 32-2-8, including 13-1-4 in Kalamazoo.
Last season, MSU used a two-goal performance by freshman forward Ryan Sierakowski to double up in-state rival Western Michigan, 2-1, at a cloudy and cool DeMartin Stadium. MSU improved to 6-4-2 on the season, while Western Michigan fell to 6-3-2 overall. Prior to meeting the Spartans, the Broncos had allowed only four goals all season.
Michigan State has reached a loaded portion of its schedule. Western Michigan will be the sixth-straight ranked team that the Spartans have faced, taking on No. 16 Ohio State, No. 25 Akron, No. 19 Bowling Green, No. 18 Michigan and No. 3 Maryland. MSU is 3-1-1 against ranked squads.
Joe Baum: HALL OF FAMER
Former MSU soccer head coach and player Joe Baum was inducted into the MSU Hall of Fame on Thursday, Sept. 29.
Baum was a part of Michigan State soccer as a player, assistant coach and head coach for a combined 39 seasons. As a goalkeeper, he led MSU to back-to-back co-national championships. Later, he served as the head coach of the men’s program for 32 years and the women’s program for five years, compiling a combined 389 victories. Baum established himself as one of the titans of college soccer during his tenure with the Spartan men’s team. He finished his career with 320 victories, becoming just the second coach in Big Ten history to reach the 300-win plateau.
FANS IN THE STANDS
The Spartans are tied for seventh in the nation in attendance, averaging 2,626 fans per home game. Three Big Ten teams are ranked in the top 10 in the nation with Maryland standing No. 1 (4,323), while Indiana is fifth (2,674).
For the second-time this season, Michigan State topped its DeMartin Stadium attendance record when 4,678 fans packed the stadium and a standing room only crowd watched MSU battle to a 0-0 double overtime tie against Maryland on Sept. 22. In the first night game of the season on Sept. 1, 3,515 fans filled DeMartin. The previous high was 3,175 last season when MSU defeated Michigan on Sept. 18, 2016.
Due in part to the amazing student section known as the Red Cedar Rowdies, Michigan State is an impressive 13-0-3 in its last 16 games at DeMartin Stadium. Last season, MSU set a school-record with most wins at home going 9-0-2. In 2017, the Spartans are already 3-0-1 at home. MSU defeated No. 16 Ohio State in Big Ten action last week.
AMONG THE NATION’S BEST
Michigan State is among the nation’s best in the latest NCAA statistics. MSU is third in the nation in shutout percentage (.700)and is ninth in team goals against average (0.58). Redshirt-junior goalkeeper Jimmy Hague is second in the nation in shutouts with seven and 19th in save percentage (.829). Hague is 11th in goal against average of 0.58. Junior forward DeJuan Jones is seventh in game-winning goals with three.
In the first rankings of the season, Michigan State stands No. 1. The Spartans tough schedule has included six-straight games against ranked teams. MSU is one of two teams ranked in the top 10 along with ninth-ranked Indiana. This week’s opponent, Western Michigan, is currently No. 11 in RPI this week.
In eight games this season, the Spartans are 7-0 in games decided by one goal. Michigan State has won five 1-0 games and defeated Rutgers, 2-1 on Sept. 8. Last season, the Spartans were an exceptional 10-3 in one-goal games, including four wins in 1-0 decisions.
BIG TIME, BIG TEN
This week the Spartans are No. 4 in the United Soccer Coaches Poll. This week, there are three Big Ten teams ranked in the top 6 with Indiana standing No. 1, while Maryland remains No. 3. Future opponent Notre Dame is No. 9 this week. The mitten state is well represented as Western Michigan is No. 12 this week.
In the latest Top Drawer Soccer poll, Michigan State is currently No. 8. In this week’s College Soccer News poll, MSU is still No. 5.
For the first time since 1968, Michigan State started the season with four-straight shutouts. During that season, the Spartans went on to start the season with seven-straight clean sheets. During the 1968 season, MSU won the second of two-straight Co-NCAA Championships under head coach Gene Kenney. Former head coach Joe Baum was a player on that 1968 squad. Michigan State allowed its first goal of the season on a penalty kick against Rutgers on Sept. 8. The Spartans have not allowed a goal in the run of play yet this season.
NEARING A MILESTONE
MSU head coach Damon Rensing is nearing a coaching milestone. With the win against Michigan, the Spartan leader is just three wins away from 100 career wins. Overall. He is 97-59-23 at MSU.
SENIOR CLASS AWARD
Senior defender Jimmy Fiscus was one of 60 NCAA® men’s and women’s soccer student-athletes who excel both on and off the field were selected as candidates for the 2017 Senior CLASS Award® in collegiate soccer. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence: community, classroom, character and competition. The complete list of candidates follows this release.
As Michigan State reaches the half-way point of Big Ten action, the Spartans stand in second place. They are tied for second place with Michigan with 10 points. Maryland is first with 11 points and a 3-0-2 league mark. Ohio State and Wisconsin are tied for fourth place with nine points. Indiana is sixth with eight points with a 3-0-2 B1G record.
Junior forward DeJuan Jones is tied for third in points scored this season with Maryland’s Gordon Wild with 12 points this season. Jones is also tied for first in game-winning goals with three. Redshirt-junior goalkeeper Jimmy Hague is tied for second in shutouts with seven. Hague is also second in goals against average with a mark of 0.58.
MICHIGAN STATE NOTES
• In the first nine games, six different Spartans have scored a goal. Overall, eight different players have registered a point. Junior forward DeJuan Jones leads the team in scoring with four goals and one assist for nine points. Junior forward Ryan Sierakowski is second in scoring with one goal and two assists for four points. Three MSU players have registered three points.
• Michigan State men’s soccer team was voted fourth in the Big Ten Preseason Coaches Poll, the conference. Seniors Jimmy Fiscus and Ken Krolicki, along with junior Ryan Sierakowski were also named to the Big Ten Preseason honors list.
SIERAKOWSKI NAMED TO HERMANN WATCH LIST
Michigan State men’s soccer junior forward Ryan Sierakowski was named to the Missouri Athletic Club (MAC) Hermann Trophy Watch List. The MAC Hermann Trophy is the most prestigious individual award in college soccer and is presented annually to the most outstanding male and female players of the year.
Sierakowski, a native of McHenry, Illinois, is the first Michigan State men’s soccer player named to the Hermann Watch List since goalkeeper Avery Steinlage in 2010. In 2014, midfielder Jay Chapman was named a semifinalist for the Hermann Trophy, becoming the first Spartan in school history to achieve the feat.
OH CAPTAIN MY CAPTAIN
This season, the Spartans have three captains in senior Jimmy Fiscus, Brad Centala and Ryan Scott.
Sophomore Giuseppe Barone became the fourth member of the Barone family to don the Green and White last season. He joins current Spartan Hunter as well as former MSU players Mark (2008-11) Domenic (2008-12).
Michigan State continues its three-game road trip at Wisconsin on Saturday, Oct. 7. The Spartans conclude the trip at West Virginia on Wednesday, Oct. 11.