Oct. 15, 2007
EAST LANSING, Mich. - Freshman midfielder Spencer Thompson and senior goalkeeper Chris Austin of the Michigan State men's soccer team have been named this week's Big Ten Players of the Week following two wins over nationally-ranked opponents last week. The honor is the first for Thompson, while Austin has now collected the weekly accolade twice this season. The Big Ten office made the announcement Monday, Oct. 15.
Thompson was named the offensive player of the week after scoring the game-winning goal in Michigan State's 1-0 win over No. 3 Notre Dame on Wednesday. The goal was the first of his collegiate career. He added another goal in MSU's 5-0 win over No. 21 Michigan, and also drew a foul in the box that set up a penalty kick goal by junior Doug DeMartin.
For the week, Thompson totaled two goals on six shots, including three attempts on goal. The Shelby Township, Mich., native has started all 12 matches this season for the Spartans.
Austin made three saves against the Irish and stopped seven more shots against the Wolverines. He now has a 0.55 GAA, the second best mark in the Big Ten, and seven shutouts this season. The goalie from Livonia, Mich., even has two assists on the year.
"Getting this recognition from the Big Ten means a lot to us as a program because we really respect the teams in our conference," head coach Joe Baum said. "Spencer had an amazing week. He had the game-winner against Notre Dame and then drew the first penalty against Michigan and later scored another goal. He's really asserted himself offensively, and that's given our team another offensive dimension.
"Chris has been very consistent. He's good in the air, saving shots and communicating. He has given our team a lift, and that's been wonderful to see."
The award sweep is the second time in school history the Spartans have won both offensive and defensive player honors. Austin and DeMartin swept the awards on Oct. 1 after MSU's 3-0 win at Wisconsin.
In addition, Thompson was named to the national team of the week by Top Drawer Soccer and College Soccer News. Senior defender Rauwshan McKenzie joined Thompson on the CSN list.
MSU plays two non-conference matches this week, hosting intra-state rival Oakland on Wednesday, Oct. 17 at 4 p.m. at Old College Field and traveling to Valparaiso on Sunday, Oct. 21 at 1 p.m.