Men's Soccer Heads to No. 23 Indiana
Oct. 16, 2009
EAST LANSING, Mich. - The Michigan State men's soccer team will travel to No. 23 Indiana to take on the Hoosiers at 2 p.m. ET on Sunday (Oct. 18). The game will be broadcast live on the Big Ten Network.
MSU enters Sunday's match with a 6-4-1 (0-3) record while IU is currently 7-4-1 (2-0).
The Last Time Out: Michigan State suffered a heartbreaking, 2-1, double-overtime loss at Wisconsin on Sunday (Oct. 11). Jeff Ricondo scored his third goal of the season in the loss for MSU.
Indiana Series History: The Spartans trail the all-time series with Indiana but enter Sunday's game with two-game winning streak over the Hoosiers. In their last seven meetings, the series is tied at 3-3-1. Last season, MSU got its first regular-season win over the Hoosiers since 1965 as they downed IU, 2-0, in East Lansing. The Spartans later defeated Indiana, 1-0, in the championship game of the Big Ten Tournament in Madison, Wis. Doug DeMartin recorded the game-winning goal in each match.
MSU joined Notre Dame (2005-06) and Penn State (2005-06) as the only other schools to win back-to-back games against the Hoosiers this decade. In the history of IU soccer, only three teams - Michigan State, Penn State and Evansville - have defeated Indiana twice in the same season.
Early Strikes: Jeff Ricondo's goal at the 5:37 mark against Wisconsin last week marked the fourth time this season MSU recorded a goal in the first nine minutes of a game. MSU is 3-1 when scoring in the first nine minutes of action and is now 5-1 when scoring first.
Last weekend's loss also marked the first time in 11 games for MSU that the team that scored first lost the match. In MSU's first 10 games of the 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 three of its four losses.
Vs. Ranked Opponents: MSU is 1-0-1 against ranked opponents this season. The Spartans tied then-No. 10 UIC, 0-0, on Sept. 6 and downed then-No. 18 Loyola Marymount, 3-0, on Sept. 18 in San Diego.
Close Calls: The Spartans have come up empty in their last three losses - all one-goal affairs. The Spartans created several scoring opportunities in all three games and outshot their opponents in two of the three matches (15-14 v. OSU and 12-6 vs. PSU). The losses to OSU and PSU 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 Still Leads 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 seven goals - three less than second place Ohio State and Penn State. As a team, MSU's goals-against average is a league-low 0.62.
Just three times in the last 23 games has MSU allowed more than one goal while it has posted 16 shutouts in that span.
Bega Takes the Lead: A year after losing seven seniors that contributed 26 of the team's 36 goals, sophomore Rubin Bega has emerged as the Spartans' needed offensive threat with a team-leading seven goals.
Bega is sixth in the Big Ten in points (16) and is fourth in goals (7). His three two-goal games this season marks the third consecutive year a Spartan has recorded at least two tallies in at least three games in a season as Doug DeMartin accomplished the feat in 2007 and `08.
Common Opponents: So far this season, the Spartans and Hoosiers have just one common opponent in Wisconsin. IU defeated the Badgers and is 1-1 against two non-conference opponents - Akron and Notre Dame - that MSU will take on later this year.
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