Men's Soccer Hits Road for Wisconsin
Oct. 9, 2009
EAST LANSING, Mich. - The Michigan State men's soccer team will play its first conference road game of the year when it takes on Wisconsin at 4 p.m. ET on Sunday in Madison, Wis. The game will be broadcast live on the Big Ten Network.
The Last Time Out: Another two-goal performance from sophomore forward Rubin Bega helped the Spartans defeat Western Michigan, 2-0, on Wednesday (Oct. 7) afternoon at DeMartin Stadium. For Bega, it was his third two-goal game of the year and second in the last three games. The Spartans improved their all time record against Western Michigan to 25-2-8.
Wisconsin Series History: The Spartans trail the all time series with the Badgers, 9-19-4. However, MSU has taken the last two meetings with Wisconsin - winning last year in East Lansing, 1-0, on a penalty kick by Doug DeMartin and downing the Badgers, 3-0, in Madison in 2007. The last UW win came in 2005, 3-2, at McClimon Complex.
Good Memories: Sunday's game marks the return to Madison for the Spartans where they captured the Big Ten Championship last season. No. 1-seed MSU defeated Northwestern, 1-0, in the semifinals and then blanked Indiana, 1-0, to claim their first conference tournament crown since 2004.
Close Calls: Tough luck might be to blame in each of the Spartans' last two losses as the Spartans created several scoring opportunities and outshot its opponents in each game (15-14 v. OSU and 12-6 vs. PSU). The two losses marked the first times MSU fell when outshooting its opponent since Aug. 31, 2008 when it fell at home to Vermont, 2-1, but outshot the Catamounts, 16-7.
Defense Continues to Lead Conference: The staple of the MSU soccer program - defense - continues to remain true to form this season as the Spartans have allowed a league-low five goals - four less than second place Ohio State and Penn State. As a team, MSU's goals-against average is 0.49 - 0.28 lower than second-place Ohio State.
Just twice in the last 22 games has MSU allowed more than one goal while it has posted 16 shutouts in that span.
First Goal = Win: In all 10 of the Spartans' games this season, the team that has scored first has been victorious. Five of MSU's six wins have been shutouts while it has been blanked in all three losses.
Steinlage Ranks In MSU's Top 10: With another shutout against WMU on Wednesday, junior goalkeeper Avery Steinlage moved into a four-way tie for fifth on the MSU career shutout list with 15. John Spink (1984, 86-88) holds the Spartan record with 23 career shutouts. For his career, 15 of Steinlage's 18 wins have been shutouts.
Steinlage now ranks 10th on MSU's all-time win chart with 18. Reid Friedrichs (1993-96) hold the all-time wins record with 36.
The junior from Grand Haven currently leads the Big Ten in goals-against average (0.40) and is second in save percentage (0.862).
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