Oct. 6, 2011
EAST LANSING, Mich. -
* The Particulars
Michigan State welcomes Big Ten opponent Penn State to DeMartin Stadium on Sunday Oct. 9th. The conference matchup is slated to begin at noon and will be televised live on the Big Ten Network.
* The All-Time Series
MSU owns a 7-18-2 all-time against the Nittany Lions and has won three out of 12 games that have been played in East Lansing. The Spartans fell to Penn State last year, 2-1, in a tight match.
* State of the Spartans
MSU is 3-6-2 on the season, with all of its losses by a single goal and two of its losses coming in overtime. The Spartans most recently tallied their third win of the season over Milwaukee by a score of 2-1. Mark Barone and Adam Montague paired up to score both of the Spartan's goals.
* Its a Factor
Three significant injuries have taken two All-Big Ten players out of the lineup - Domenic Barone was lost for the season before it began, and Kevin Cope was injured in the second game of the year against Connecticut - and Tim Kreutz has not played at all this season as well
* Scouting the Nittany Lions
Penn State comes to East Lansing off of a win that snapped its four-game winless streak, as the Nittany Lions shut out in-state rival Penn, 2-0, on Tuesday .Juniors Jacob Barron and Julian Cardona tallied the two goals for PSU. Cardona is the leading scorer for Penn State, with three goals and one assist. After holding Penn scoreless, freshman goalkeeper Andrew Wolverton now leads the conference in shutouts with eight.
* Free Soccer
In 11 games this season, the Spartans have gone to overtime four times, and each of its last three OT games have gone to the second overtime session. MSU is 0-2-2 in games which needed extra time.
* Late Goals Lead to Decisions
In six of MSU's 11 games, late goals have been decision-making tallies. The Spartans have lost twice in overtime in golden goal situations, and allowed a marker with under three minutes left in regulation at Northwestern to forge a 1-1 tie in the Big Ten opener. On the reverse side, MSU got a goal by Kyle Rutz in the 79th minute to break a deadlock in Tuesday's 2-1 win over UIC, and Fatai Alashe's goal in the 83rd minute forced a tie at Marquette on Sept. 16. Both Rutz and Alashe are freshmen. Most recently, Montague's tally in the 77th minute secured the Spartan's victory over Milwaukee.
* Playing from Behind
MSU has scored the first goal of the game in only three of its matches this season- in the 3-0 shutout at New Hampshire, in the Big Ten opener at Northwestern and against Milwaukee. The game against New Hampshire is also the only game that MSU has played this season in which one of the teams scored more than two goals.
* Last Years, First Years Contributing
Each of MSU's 12 goals this season have been scored by either a senior or a freshman. Freshman Adam Montague leads the team in scoring with three goals and two assists. Senior Rubin Bega has two goals, while seniors Cyrus Saydee, Joe Paljaj, and Garret Back all have one marker. Freshmen Fatai Alashe, Kyle Rutz, and Ryan Keener each have one score as well.
* A Streak of Sorts
Adam Montague has three goals in his last four games, which has allowed him to become the team's scoring leader. His goal against Milwaukee was the game-winner, and he tallied the lone Spartan goals against Northwestern and Ohio State.
* Last Time Out
The Spartans notched their third victory of the season at home in a mid-week tilt against Milwaukee. MSU started off strong on offense, posting 17 shots in the first period and forcing freshman keeper Josh Rohde to make ten saves. Both teams remained scoreless in the first half of play.
Michigan State got on the board first, taking advantage of a corner kick opportunity. Cyrus Saydee inserted the ball which found Adam Montague. Montague's header was directed to Mark Barone who blasted a shot into the net. Milwaukee was able to tie up the score 20 minutes later off of a goal from Robert Refai. Montague scored the eventual game winner after winning a 50/50 ball from the goalie about 22 yards out. He was able to get behind the keeper and went in alone for his third goal in the last four games. Barone was credited with the assist. Senior goalkeeper Jeremy Clark recorded a total of five saves in the victory.
* Honoring a Legend
On Oct. 8-9, the Spartan men's and women's soccer programs will salute Joe Baum, who retired from Michigan State University on June 30 after parts of six decades as a part of the MSU soccer programs. The former Spartan mentor will be honored at both the women's game against Illinois on Saturday and the men's game against Penn State. It is also alumni weekend for both programs. Baum served as the head coach of the men's program for 32 years, and was the women's program's first head coach (1986-90). He stepped down from his position of men;s head coach after the 2008 season, and served his final two seasons as an assistant to his former player and assistant, Damon Rensing. Baum, who was a goalkeeper for the men's soccer program in the late 60s and helped the Spartans win a share of the 1968 NCAA Championship, helped the most recent team into the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament, where it fell to North Carolina in penalty kicks. He returned to his alma mater as an assistant coach in the early 70s, and patrolled the Spartan sidelines for 36 seasons. Baum stepped down as the head coach of the program after the 2008 campaign, turning the reins of the program over to his longtime assistant and former player, Rensing. Baum stayed on with the program as an assistant coach to his protégé, and last season, helped lead the Spartans into the NCAA Round of 16, the furthest MSU had advanced in the NCAA Tournament since Baum was the team's goalkeeper for the Spartan 1968 NCAA co-Champions.
* Media Darlings
The Big Ten Network will air 10 men's soccer games this fall, and of the nine that have been announced, three will feature Michigan State in Big Ten Conference matchups at DeMartin Stadium. The Spartans hosted Ohio State last Sunday, (Oct. 2), and will host Penn State this Sunday at noon. The Spartans will tangle with archrival Michigan on Sunday, Oct. 30 in a battle for the Big Bear Trophy, which will also air live.
* Next Up
The Spartans travel to Wisconsin for a 3 p.m. conference game on Sunday, Oct. 16th.