Oct. 5, 2010
No. 18 Michigan State will host the Wildcats of New Hampshire in a mid-week matchup on Wednesday (Oct. 6). The game is scheduled to begin at 4:00 p.m. at DeMartin Stadium. MSU is 7-2-0 on the season, and takes a break from Big Ten Conference action with this non-league matchup.
Scouting the Spartans
The Spartans had their six-game winning streak, the longest in the Big Ten, broken after a tough 2-1 loss to No. 19 Ohio State last Sunday (Oct. 3). Cyrus Saydee put MSU on the board early in the first half, but the Buckeyes responded just three and a half minutes later, putting the score at 1-1. The game-winner came in the 65th minute, with the Spartans unable to gain an equalizer.
Michigan State has seen offensive action from 11 players - nine of whom have scored- which puts MSU at 15th in the country in total goals (20). Domenic Barone owns the team lead in goal scoring (4), and Spencer Thompson and Rubin Bega each have three.
Defensively, Avery Steinlage is continuing his strong play in the box. The redshirt senior owns an .800 saves percentage and a 1.15 GAA with three shutouts.
Looking at the Wildcats
New Hampshire is 5-1-2 in the season, and 0-1 in the America East Conference. After four straight wins since Sept. 12, the Wildcats were defeated by Vermont, 1-0, on Saturday (Oct. 2). Brad Hilton is leading New Hampshire's offense with six points, coming from two goals and two assists. Jon Harris is just behind, marking two goals this season - totaling four points. Colin O'Donnell is heading the Wildcats in the box, notching a GAA of .39 and a save percentage of .912.
Michigan State dropped to No. 18 in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) after Sunday's loss to the Buckeyes. Other polls find the Spartans as high as eighth(Soccer America); Top Drawer Soccer has MSU at No. 18, and College Soccer News has the Spartans slotted at 17th.
Big Ten Leaders
The Spartans are now sitting in third in the Big Ten with a conference record of 1-1-0, 7-2-0 overall. MSU boasts three of the Big Ten's top scorers. Thompson's 11 points has him tied for fifth in points and sixth in points per game, and his four assists are third overall and tied for third in assists per game. Domenic Barone's three goals in five games not only has him tied for fourth in overall goals, but puts him fourth in points per game (1.80) and goals per game (0.80). Thompson and Barone are also tied for third in the conference in game-winning goals (2). Rubin Bega's three goals has him tied with Thompson for seventh in goals. Cyrus Saydee's eight points has him tied for ninth in the league in that category, and his six assists is the second-highest total in the Conference. . Keeper Avery Steinlage is third in the league in saves per game (4.44), shutouts (3), and in total saves (38), he is also fifth in the Big Ten save percentage (.800)
Michigan State ranks 15th nationally in total offense (20 goals), and is 20th in the country in scoring offense, averaging 2.22 goals per game. The squad is also 13th in winning percentage (.778).