Oct. 19, 2010
EAST LANSING, Mich. -
No. 16 Michigan State men's soccer team will take a break from conference competition when they travel to Bowling Green State University on Wednesday (Oct. 20). The Spartans and the Falcons will kickoff at 4:00 p.m. at the Cochrane Soccer Stadium.
Scouting the Spartans
MSU enters Wednesday's contest 2-2-0 in the Big Ten and 10-3-0 overall. The Spartans continued their undefeated home record (7-0-0) last Sunday with a 3-0 victory over Wisconsin. Michigan State saw scores from Domenic Barone and Jake Fullerton, along with an own-goal from the Badgers. Barone and Brent Rosendall are currently heading the Spartan offense with six goals each. Spencer Thompson, Cyrus Saydee, Jeff Ricondo and Rubin Bega are all tied for second with three goals each. Thompson, who has seven assists, and Saydee, with six, are also the team's top in that category. Avery Steinlage, MSU's go-to goalie, is boasting a GAA of .98 and a save percentage of .833, while Jeremy Clark, who has seen action in four games, owns a GAA of 1.30 and a save percentage of .667.
Looking at the Falcons
Bowling Green faces the Spartans with a 5-5-2 overall record, 2-2-0 in the Mid-American Conference. After defeating Hartwick College Saturday night (Oct. 16) by a score of 1-0, BGSU is now third in the MAC. Max Weston, who has four goals this season, is the Falcons leading scorer, and he had the lone goal against Hartwick, Dusko Topolic is next in-line with two goals. Weston is also leading BGSU in assists, with three, while Colin Armstrong and Chris Jurtovski are right behind with two each. Following starts in all 12 games so far this season, goalkeeper Miguel Rosales is posting a 1.28 GAA and a .789 save percentage.
Michigan State came into the week ranked No. 16 in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) poll- climbing five spots after wins last week against Western Michigan and Wisconsin. Other polls find the Spartans as high as 10 (Soccer America); Top Drawer Soccer has MSU at No. 15, Soccer Times has the Spartans tied for 15th, and College Soccer News has the Spartans slotted at 17th.
Big Ten Leaders
With a conference record of 2-2-0, Michigan State is now tied for second in the Big Ten with a big game looming this weekend against Indiana. The Spartans are also sitting in the top three spots in the conference in almost every major offensive category. MSU is number one in goals (31), goals per game (2.38), and shutouts (7), second in the Big Ten in points (92), assists (30), assists per game (2.31), and GAA (1.00), and is third in saves (62).
Individually, there are now seven Spartans who are finding their names among conference leaders in the Big Ten statistical rankings. Domenic Barone is seventh in the conference in shots per game, with an average of 2.67, and is sixth in points with 15. Barone is also fourth in points per game (1.67) and goals per game (.67), and is tied in fourth place in goals with Brent Rosendall (6). In addition, Rosendall is seventh in the Big Ten in points (14), eighth in points per game (1.08), and is fifth in goals per game (.46). Owning 13 points this season, Spencer Thompson is currently tied for eighth in that list, is ninth in points per game (1.00), and is tied for second in assists (7) and assists per game (.54). Meanwhile, Cyrus Saydee is in the tenth spot for points with 12 and points per game with a .92 average, and is tied for fourth in the conference in assists (6) and assists per game (.46). Mark Barone and Jeff Ricondo are making appearances in the Big Ten rankings too, they are currently tied for tenth place in assists (4), while Barone is seventh in assist per game (.44) as well. With 70+ shutout minutes versus Wisconsin, Avery Steinlage moved up to third in GAA (.98), but stayed in second for save percentage (.833), saves per game (4.62), and shutouts (4). The senior is also the number one goalie in saves with 60 so far this year.
Michigan State is now ranked 4th nationally - jumping up 13 spots from last week - in total goals (31 goals), and 9th in scoring offense, averaging 2.38 goals per game. The squad is also 15th in winning percentage (.769). Individually, Spencer Thompson is eighth in the country in total assists, with seven, while Cyrus Saydee is 18th, with six. Thompson is also ranked 15th in the NCAA in assists per game (.54), and Avery Steinlage is 25th nationally in save percentage (.833). National statistics are released weekly, on Mondays.
The men's soccer Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) was released last 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 seventh overall in RPI, the highest-ranked team in the Big Ten and one spot ahead of conference foe Ohio State. Akron, Southern Methodist, and Louisville are the top three in the rankings, followed by UNC, William & Mary, and Maryland.. 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 Wednesday's game, his career save percentage is .878, which would place him first in the career recordbook, and his 0.67 GAA would be second, one spot ahead of former MSU head coach Joe Baum. He owns 32 career wins (fourth) and 20 shutouts (tied with Reid Friedrichs) for second in the MSU record book.