Oct. 5, 2012
Michigan State continues Big Ten play on Sunday when it travels to Columbus to take on Ohio State. Kickoff is at 12 p.m. Michigan State is 3-6-1 on the year with an 0-1 record in Big Ten play.
Live video with audio provided by Scarlet & Gray radio will be available via BigTenNetwork.com, and linked through the front page and men's soccer schedule page of OhioStateBuckeyes.com.
The Spartans lost their Big Ten opener on Sunday to defending regular season and Big Ten tournament champion Northwestern. The double-overtime loss marked the third time this year that the Spartans have lost a game in the second overtime period.
Fatai Alashe gave MSU the early lead in the 21st minute on his first goal of the season. Jay Chapman was later whistled for a handball in the box, setting up the NU penalty kick by Chris Ritter for the equalizer.
Northwestern's game-winner materialized early in the second overtime period. Grant Wilson had the ball even with the top of the box on the right sideline, and passed off to Eric Weberman at the top of the box. Weberman left-footed his shot into the bottom right corner of the net, just out of reach of a diving Bryce Dobbins for the game-winner..
Because of the red card, Jay Chapman will be forced to sit out against Ohio State.
Adam Montague leads the team with two goals, followed by five Spartans who have recorded a goal and assist (Domenic Barone, Tim Kreutz, Fatai Alashe, Cody Henderson, and Luke Norman). Senior Ryan Thelen is the team's leading assist man, and tied for second in the league, with three on the season.
Redshirt junior keeper Bryce Dobbins enters the weekend with 29 saves and a 1.22 GAA, which ranks him fifth in the Big Ten in both categories to go along with his .690 save percentage.
Michigan State is 22-16-2 all-time against Ohio State. When the teams met last year, Ohio State won 2-1 in East Lansing.
Ohio State is 4-6-1 on the season and 0-2 in Big Ten play. Austin Austin McAnena was named Big Ten offensive player of the week and is the Buckeyes leading scorer on the year with three goals and three assists. His nine points on the year are fourth-best in the Big Ten, and his three goals are tied for fifth. Kenny Cunningham and Louie Berra each have a pair of goals and an assist on the season while Yianna Sarris is second in the Big Ten in assists with three.
Alex Ivanov and Alex Wimmer have split time in the net so far for the Buckeyes. Ivanov has 36 saves on the year and owns a 1.69 GAA and .756 save percentage. Wimmer has a 2.20 GAA and .686 save percentage to go along with his 24 saves.
Six teams on MSU's 2012 slate appear in this week's NSCAA National poll. Four of those teams (all MSU non-conference opponents) are in the current NSCAA Top 10: No. 2 Connecticut, No. 7 Akron, No. 9 Notre Dame, and No. 10 Marquette. Indiana is No. 14, followed by Northwestern at No. 22.
Some significant injuries have shortened MSU's bench this season, with players being lost for the remainder of the year. Starting back Josh Barens has not seen the field at all this season, but is expected to be ready to go for spring training and games. He will apply for a medical redshirt season. Freshman Andrew Herr sustained a season-ending injury in the exhibition game vs. IPFW, and will also apply for a medical redshirt.
MSU lost two players for the remainder of the season during the Big Ten/BIG EAST Challenge - Wesley Curtis sustained his injury against Notre Dame, and Kyle Rutz in the home game against Marquette.
Just six field players have appeared in all nine games for MSU this season - Adam Montague, Luke Norman, Ryan Thelen, Ryan Keener, Fatai Alashe, and Kevin Cope. Bryce Dobbins has played every minute for the Spartans at keeper.
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.
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.
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.
Michigan State will appear two more times on the Big Ten Network this season, Oct. 15th at Penn State and Oct. 21st against Wisconsin. The Big Ten Network will also televise the Big Ten Tournament, which will be held Nov. 7-11 at Northwestern.
The Spartans return home next Wednesday to take on non-conference opponent Detroit. Kickoff time is 4 p.m.