Oct. 16, 2010
No. 21 Michigan State men's soccer team is back in Big Ten action this weekend when they host Wisconsin. Kickoff is at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday (Oct. 17) at DeMartin Stadium and will be broadcast live by the Big Ten Network. The game is also the nightcap of a women's/men's doubleheader.
Scouting the Spartans
MSU comes into this weekend's meeting with a 9-3-0 overall record and is 1-2-0 in the conference. After downing Western Michigan (5-0) at home on Wednesday for their fifth home victory of the season, the Spartans remain undefeated at DeMartin Stadium.
Brent Rosendall had two goals and one assist on Wednesday to overtake the team scoring lead with six goals and two assists for 14 points. Domenic Barone (5-2-12), Cyrus Saydee and Spencer Thompson (each 3-6-12) are tied for second, each with 12 points. Jeff Ricondo and Rubin Bega each have three tallies this season to stand tied for third in that category. Avery Stienlage made six saves in Wednesday's shutout of the Broncos, giving him a GAA of 1.04 and a save percentage of .831.
A Look at the Badgers
Wisconsin enters the matchup with a 1-2-0 Big Ten record, 1-8-2 overall. Most recently, the Badgers came out on the losing end against Michigan 3-2 last Sunday (Oct. 10). Chris Prince and Aaron Nichols are heading the Badger offense with two goals apiece, while Kyle McCrudden, Colin Mani and Danny Ahlering have posted one each. The majority of assists for Wisconsin have come from Nick Janus (3), but McCrudden, Trevor Wheeler and Joey Tennyson all have one on their ledgers. Defensively, goalkeeper Ryan Vint enters Sunday's game with a 1.23 GAA and .782 save percentage in nine games played.
Michigan State came into the week ranked No. 21 in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) poll- falling three spots after last Sunday's 2-1 loss at Penn State. 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 is the Big Ten's top-scoring offense, averaging 2.33 goals per game, tied with Penn State. Defensively, MSU's 12 goals allowed is second only to Big Ten leader Ohio State (1), and the Spartans have recorded the most shutouts in the Conference (6).
Currently there are six Spartans who are among conference leaders in the Big Ten statistical rankings. Brent Rosendall is sixth in the conference in points (14), seventh in points per game (1.17), fourth in goals (6), and fifth in goals per game (0.50). With similar scoring lines, Cyrus Saydee and Spencer Thompson are tied for seventh in points (12, with Domenic Barone), ninth in points per game (1.0), tied for third in assists (6), tied with Mark Barone for third in assists per game (0.50), and fifth in game-winning goals (2, with Domenic Barone). Domenic Barone is also fourth in points per game (1.5), fifth in goals (5), fourth in goals per game (0.62). Meanwhile, Mark Barone and co-captain Jeff Ricondo are tied for seventh in assists (4)., and Ricondo is tied for tenth in assists per game.
Goalkeeper Avery Steinlage is sitting at fourth in GAA (1.04) and second in save percentage (.831). He is also tied for second in shutouts (4), is number one in saves (59) and saves per game (4.92).
Michigan State dropped to 17th nationally last week 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. National statistics are released weekly, on Mondays.
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.
In the Annals
Senior keeper Avery Steinlage is chiseling his name in the all-time career records at Michigan State. Entering Sunday's game, his career save percentage is .872, which would place him first in the career recordbook, and his 0.68 GAA would be fourth, just hundredths behind former MSU head coach Joe Baum. He owns 31 career wins (fourth) and 20 shutouts (tied with Reid Friedrichs) for second in the MSU record book.