Oct. 22, 2011
Michigan State travels to Bloomington to take on Indiana in a Sunday afternoon matinee. Gametime on Sunday is 2 p.m. at Jerry Yeagley Field at Armstrong Stadium.
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Head Coach Damon Rensing | Senior Keeper Jeremy Clark
The All-Time Series
The Hoosiers hold a commanding lead in the all-time series, with a 35-10-3 record against the Spartans all-time. The Spartans had a three-game winning streak against IU snapped when the Hoosiers prevailed last season, 3-0, in a game at DeMartin Stadium. MSU had downed Indiana twice in 2008 (2-0 in the regular season, and 1-0 in the Big Ten Tournament, en route to Big Ten regular-season and tournament titles) and registered its first-ever win at Indiana when they downed the Hoosiers, 1-0 in double overtime, in 2009.
State of the Spartans
MSU is 4-7-3 on the season, with all of its losses by a single goal and two of its losses coming in overtime. Only one game this season on MSU's ledger has seen one of the two teams score more than two goals in a game. MSU battled to a double-overtime scoreless draw with Bowling Green on Wednesday afternoon at DeMartin Stadium.
Scouting the Hoosiers
No. 13/10 Indiana, one of the most prolific champions (seven NCAA titles) in the sport, currently sits in second place in the Big Ten standings with a 2-1-0 record. The Hoosiers come into Sunday's game on a three-game winning streak, and sit at 9-3-0 overall. The current win streak has been fueled in part by the hot streak of freshman striker Eriq Zavaleta, who has scored four times in the last three games, and is tied for the league lead with eight tallies. His 18 points leads IU in scoring, followed by Alec Purdie (7-2-16). Both Blake Wise and Nikita Kotlov have three goals on the season, tied for third on the team in that category. Goalkeeper Luis Soffner recorded his sixth solo shutout of the season with a 2-0 win over Kentucky in his last outing on Wednesday. Soffner owns a .831 save percentage and 0.77 GAA this season.
Last Time Out
Michigan State hosted Bowling Green on Wednesday afternoon, and both teams battled the elements as much as they did one another in settling on the 0-0 double-overtime deadlock. The Spartans were playing without the services of two of their top three scorers, as both Adam Montague and Rubin Bega were forced to the stands after being red-carded in last Sunday's game at Wisconsin.
It was a tough day for ball control and passing, as the players struggled to maintain firm footing. The game was physical, with a total of 20 fouls and six yellow cards. The complexion of the game changed a bit in the 41st minute, when BG second-leading scorer Rodcliff Hall picked up his second yellow card of the game, forcing the Falcons to play man-down for the remaining 70 minutes.
Most of the best chances came for the teams in the overtime periods - Jeremy Clark was forced to make two of his three saves in the game in the first overtime off shots from Zach Lemke and Danny Baraldi. Meanwhile, With three minutes remaining in the second overtime period, Garret Back had a shot that ricocheted off the crossbar.
The teams battled through until near darkness, but neither team could generate many dangerous scoring chances, thanks in large part to the elements. For Clark, it was his third shutout of the season, and lowered his goals against average to 0.94.
Late Goals Lead to Decisions
In six of MSU's 13 games, late goals have been decision-making tallies. The Spartans have lost twice in overtime in golden goal situations, and allowed a marker with under three minutes left in regulation at Northwestern to forge a 1-1 tie in the Big Ten opener. On the reverse side, MSU got a goal by Kyle Rutz in the 79th minute to break a deadlock in a 2-1 win over UIC, and Fatai Alashe's goal in the 83rd minute forced a tie at Marquette on Sept. 16. Both Rutz and Alashe are freshmen. Most recently, Montague's tally in the 77th minute secured the Spartan's victory over Milwaukee.
Playing from Behind
MSU has scored the first goal of the game in only four of its matches this season- in the 3-0 shutout at New Hampshire, in Big Ten opener at Northwestern and against Milwaukee. The game against New Hampshire is also the only game that MSU has played this season in which one of the teams scored more than two goals.
Last Years, First Years Contributing
Each of MSU's 13 goals this season have been scored by either a senior or a freshman. Freshman Adam Montague leads the team in scoring with three goals and two assists. Seniors Mark Barone and Rubin Bega each have two goals, while seniorsCyrus Saydee, Joe Paljaj, and Garret Back all have one marker. Freshmen Fatai Alashe, Kyle Rutz, and Ryan Keener each have one score as well. Senior Jeremy Clark owns a 1.02 GAA and .781 save percentage, logging every minute of every game in net for the Spartans.
Its a Factor
Three significant injuries have taken two All-Big Ten players out of the lineup - Domenic Barone was lost for the season before it began, and Kevin Cope was injured in the second game of the year against Connecticut - and Tim Kreutz has not played at all this season as well
The Big Ten Network will air 10 men's soccer games this fall, and of the nine that have been announced, three will feature Michigan State in Big Ten Conference matchups at DeMartin Stadium. The Spartans will tangle with archrival Michigan on Sunday, Oct. 30 in a battle for the Big Bear Trophy, which will also air live. That game will also serve as the Spartans' senior day, and the eight MSU seniors will be honored in a post-game ceremony.
The Spartans hosted Ohio State in a Big Ten Network game on Oct. 2, and also had Penn State game on television on Oct. 9.
Michigan State will host Western Michigan in a midweek matchup, bringing assistant coach Ben Pirmann's former team to East Lansing on Wednesday. The Spartans will host their final Big Ten game of the season next Sunday when Michigan comes to town for a noon match.