Oct. 12, 2010
The No. 21 Michigan State men's soccer team will host its second straight midweek nonconference tilt on Wednesday (Oct. 13). The Spartans put their perfect 5-0 record at home on the line when they face Western Michigan at 4:00 p.m. at DeMartin Stadium.
Listen to the Spartan Sports Podcasts:
Head Coach Damon Rensing | Cyrus Saydee | Kevin Cope
Scouting the Spartans
MSU enters the matchup with an overall record of 8-3-0, and 1-2-0 in the Big Ten. The Spartans suffered a heartbreaking 2-1 loss to Penn State on Sunday, their second conference defeat. The lone Michigan State goal came from junior Brent Rosendall in the 27th minute, while senior Avery Steinlage saved 11 attempts by the Nittany Lions. Penn State scored the game-winner in the 86th minute of play.
Domenic Barone is currently leading MSU in goals (5), while Rosendall's two goals in two games last week puts him in second place with four. Boasting six assists this season, Cyrus Saydee leads the Spartans in that category, with Spencer Thompson closely behind with five. Steinlage's season-best 11-save performance against Penn State gives him a GAA of 1.12 and a save percentage of .815.
Looking at the Broncos
Western Michigan comes to DeMartin Stadium with a 2-0-0 record in the MAC, and is 7-3-1 on the season. The Broncos had posted three consecutive shutouts before falling to Detroit in a 2-1 decision in its last outing. Western's offense is led by Shane Lyons, who has tallied six goals; Kai Mendes is second on the team in goals (4) and first in assists (5). Goalkeeping for the Broncos is split between Sean Lewis and Mike Sweers. With five games played this season, Lewis is holding a GAA of 0.96 and a save percentage of .828, and in his six contests Sweers has posted a 1.64 GAA and .654 save percentage.
Michigan State is ranked No. 21 in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) poll- falling three spots after last Sunday's 2-1 loss to the Nittany Lions. Other polls find the Spartans as high as 13 (Soccer America); Top Drawer Soccer has MSU at No. 21, Soccer Times has the Spartans tied for 17th, and College Soccer News has the Spartans slotted at 19th.
Big Ten Leaders
Michigan State fell to sixth in the Big Ten standings with a conference record of 1-2-0, and the squad is 8-3-0 overall. Currently there are six Spartans who are among conference leaders in the Big Ten statistical rankings. With 12 points this season, Domenic Barone is tied for sixth in the conference in points and fifth in points per game (1.50). Spencer Thompson, who is posting 11 points, 1.00 per game, is sitting at eighth in both lists too. Barone is also fourth in the Big Ten in goals (5), while Rosendall moved to seventh (4), and Thompson and Rubin Bega are tied for tenth with three each. Thompson's five and Mark Barone's three assists have them ranked at fourth and ninth respectively in the conference in assists. Goalkeeper Avery Steinlage has a spot in the top ten in every category of the Big Ten rankings. The senior is sitting at fourth in GAA (1.12) and save percentage (.815). He is also tied for second in shutouts (4), is number one in saves (53) and saves per game (4.82).
Michigan State dropped to 17th nationally in total goals (23 goals), and 23rd in scoring offense, averaging 2.09 goals per game. The squad is also 24th in winning percentage (.727). Individually, Cyrus Saydee is 13th in the NCAA in total assists (6) and is 16th in assists per game (0.55). Spencer Thompson is also ranked in the top 25 in total assists at 22nd with five.
The men's soccer Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) was released this week. The RPI is the major tool used by the NCAA men's soccer committee to select the field of 48 which qualifies for the NCAA Tournament. Through games of last weekend, Michigan State ranks fifth overall in RPI, one spot behind conference foe Ohio State. Akron, Southern Methodist, and North Carolina are the top three in the rankings. The ACC and Big Ten are the only conferences with two schools in the top 10.
A Peek Ahead
Michigan State will host Wisconsin on Sunday (2:30 p.m.) as part of a women's/men's doubleheader at DeMartin Stadium.