No. 18 Michigan State Hosts Ohio State in Sunday's Big Ten Home-Opener
Oct. 11, 2013
EAST LANSING, Mich. - After a well-deserved break, the 18th-ranked Spartan men's soccer team will return home to DeMartin Stadium to host Ohio State on Sunday, Oct. 13 at 1 p.m. Michigan State's Big Ten home-opener will be broadcast live on the Big Ten Network. The game will also be "Camper Appreciation Day", welcoming participants back with free admission to the game.
In the Rankings
Michigan State also surged to 12th by Soccer America, No. 13 by TopDrawerSoccer.com, 16th in the SoccerTimes.com poll, 17th by College Sports Madness, No. 18 in the NSCAA poll and 22nd in the College Soccer News poll. Regionally, the Spartans are No. 2 in the NSCAA Great Lakes poll.
Currently, the Spartans are second in the Big Ten standings, just behind Penn State. They lead the Big Ten in goals against average (0.64), fewest goals allowed (six) and assists per game (2.44), as well as tied for first in total assists (22). The team is No. 2 in shutouts (6), tied for second in total shots (146) and goals per game (2.00 avg.), and is sitting at third in total points (58), total saves at 42 and tied for third for total goals (18)
MSU is tied for fifth in the nation in shutout percentage (.67), seventh in save percentage (.875), ninth in assists per game (2.44), tied for 10th in total assists (22) and in won-lost-tied percentage (.833), is No. 15 in points per game (6.44), is 20th in goals against average (.64) and tied for 20th in scoring offense with two goals per game.
Last Time Out
With two back-to-back free kicks, Thelen took advantage of a deflection on the second one and sent it in to tie the score 1-1 in the 74th minute. It was his second goal scored this season. Less than four minutes later, Adam Montague attacked the net and passed the ball to Tim Kreutz who easily finished the goal for his fourth of the season and sixth of his career. The Spartans took the lead, 2-1, with under 13 minutes left in the game. Northwestern forced double overtime but the Spartans kept fighting for an opportunity before McIntosh set up Montague who bounced a header into the goal in the final minute of double overtime. It was the third-straight year that the meeting between the two teams has been sent into double overtime.
Join The Chain
"It might sound cliché, but I'm all about the program and I wanted to do something promotional wise that would be for the team, but at the same time helping my skills," said Dobbins. "(Assistant coach) Kylie (Stannard) likes to say that I did 95% and he did 5% because he came up with the idea. We wanted to do some type of video and we thought that this would be a good way to symbolize the team and connecting everyone who supports us. We thank everyone who helped make it possible."
His 3.78 shot per game average leads the conference. He also recorded an assist in the team's first Big Ten win of the season and the first road win over Northwestern since 2001. Though he was held to just three shots at Illinois-Chicago on Tuesday, he earned his second goal of the season with a shot off an assist from Jay Chapman to put the Spartans up 1-0 at Flames Field.
For two-straight weeks, goalkeeper Zach Bennett was named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week by the conference office on Sept. 16 and 23. Bennett's career-high eight saves helped the Spartans to their second-straight shutout against Bowling Green with a 1-0 home win on Sept. 18. With the help of his backline, he earned his third shutout in four games as the Spartans blanked Marquette on the road on Sept. 15.
Bennett is currently first in the Big Ten with a .872 Sv%, goals against average (0.64), shutouts per game (0.67 avg.), and shutouts (6),and is also No. 2 in saves per game (4.56 avg.) and third in saves (41). The sophomore is also No. 8 in the nation in save percentage and is 21st in the country in goals against average. It marked the third weekly honor for the Plano, Texas, native who has played in every minute of the 2013 season.
Another Brick In The Wall
Ohio State's Nuts & Bolts
Entering his 17th season as head coach, John Bluem owns a 168-124-46 record and returns 11 letterwinners from the 2012 squad. Ohio State is led by Sage Gardner (1-1-3), Christian Soldat (1-1-3) and Ryan Ivancic (1-0-2). In goal, Alex Ivanov owns a 0.96 GAA with a .867 Sv%, playing in 10 of the Buckeyes' 11 games this season and leads the conference in saves with 65.
Breaking Into Big Ten Play
Penn State is currently atop the conference standings at 2-0-0 and Northwestern is currently the Big Ten's highest ranked team at No. 14.
MSU will play a total of six conference opponents prior to the conference tournament beginning Nov. 13. After defeating Northwestern on Oct. 6, the Spartans will host Ohio State (Oct. 13) and Penn State (Oct. 20), before playing on the road at Wisconsin (Oct. 27) and Indiana (Nov. 1). Michigan State will face off against in-state rival Michigan, who it defeated in double-overtime to win the 2012 Big Ten Tournament, on Senior Day in East Lansing on Nov. 9. All-time, the Spartans own a 53-61-11 record against the current members of the league including three Big Ten Tournament Championship titles in 2004, 2008 and 2012.
The `Golden' Win
Ranked No. 4 in the Big Ten by TopDrawerSoccer.com, Kevin Cope returns for his final season as a team captain for the Spartans. He was recognized on TopDrawerSoccer.com's Preseason Best XI second team and is ranked No. 22 of the top-100 Division I players.
Adam Montague, also a team captain, was ranked sixth in the conference by TopDrawerSoccer.com's heading into the 2013 season after posting a goal in every game of the 2012 Big Ten Tournament. He is also No. 47 in the country on TopDrawerSoccer.com's top-100.
Receiving some well-deserved recognition, Fatai Alashe was named National Player of the Week on Oct. 1 by TopDrawerSoccer.com. With Kevin Cope currently out of the backline, midfielder/defender Fatai Alashe expanded his position on the field and lent his skills where the MSU needed them most. The veteran Spartan put Michigan State on the board with a goal at No. 3 Creighton on Sept. 24 and added an assist in the home victory over North Illinois on Sept. 28.
Following his first goal scored of the 2013 season in the Spartans' shutout win over Northern Illinois, sophomore Jay Chapman was named Big Ten Player of the Week by College Soccer Madness on Oct. 1. He recorded five shots and a game-winning goal to put the Spartans on the board over the Huskies, and earned an assist in the 2-2 draw against No. 3 Creighton.
After recording his first career goal in his inaugural start as a Spartan, freshman Dewey Lewis was named Big Ten Player of the Week by College Soccer Madness on Sept. 2. Lewis stole the ball away from a Bronco defender and beat the keeper to earn an unassisted goal.
In addition to Dewey Lewis' first career goal scored against Western Michigan in his Spartan debut, redshirt senior Ryan Thelen scored his first career goal on Sept. 6 against Oregon State. The game-winning goal was scored off Thelen's seventh corner kick of the game, hooked into the back right corner of the net to give the Spartans a 1-0 victory.
With the win, MSU improved to 2-0 which marked the first time the Spartans started with a two-game shutout since 2007 under former head coach Joe Baum. It was the first 2-0 start to the season for head coach Damon Rensing and the first time in the Rensing era that the Spartans had not allowed a goal in the first two games
An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School ®, the Senior CLASS Award focuses on notable achievements in four areas of excellence - community, classroom, character and competition.
The two-time captain has already made a huge impact on the pitch for the Spartans this season. Recording one career goal prior to 2013, Cope has scored two goals for the Spartans this season.
At The Helm
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. Stannard and Pirmann have both served as the head coach of Detroit City FC, which plays in the National Premier Soccer League. Stannard made his debut in 2012, while Pirmann coached the team in 2013. Former MSU keeper Jeremy Clark, who played for MSU 2008-11, is now in his second season as the team's volunteer coach.
Big Ten Broadcast Schedule
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