Barone, Bennett Honored by Big Ten
Oct. 22, 2012
East Lansing, Mich. - The Michigan State duo of senior Domenic Barone (Grand Rapids, Mich.) and freshman keeper Zach Bennett (Plano, Texas) have swept the Big Ten's weekly awards last week, earning Offensive and Defensive Player of the Week kudos, respectively. The weekly honors come after the Spartans won twice last week, at Oakland (1-0) and at home against Wisconsin (2-0).
" I am happy for both Domenic and Zach," noted head coach Damon Rensing. "Shutouts start with the goalkeeper, but certainly that is a team effort. Our backline played great in both games as well. `ZB' made both the routine and special saves when called upon. It has been a long road back for Dom from his surgery last year, and I am especially happy for him. I thought he was very good in both games both offensively and defensively. We will need him in these last games of the year."
Barone had a pair of goals on the week, both standing as the game-winners. He scored the lone goal in a 1-0 road victory over the intra-state rival Golden Grizzlies, handing Oakland its first home loss this season. He also scored the first goal of the game on a penalty shot in Sunday's win over Wisconsin, helping the Spartans win their fourth game in five tries to even their record at 7-7-1 and 2-2-0 in the conference.
Bennett, who made his fourth and fifth straight starts last week, recorded a pair of shutouts and extended his personal shutout streak to just over 222 minutes. On Wednesday, he made three saves in blanking Summit-league leading Oakland. On Sunday, MSU climbed back to .500 with its fourth win in five, as Bennett tied his career-best with four saves in a victory over the Badgers. He boasts a 0.60 GAA and .842 save percentage in his five starts, which coincide with MSU's climb back to .500 - the Spartans are now 4-1-0 in the last five games with the true freshman as their starting keeper.
The Spartans have a week to prepare for a showdown with Indiana next Sunday at DeMartin Stadium. The game is critical to both squads as the season winds down - Indiana enters the game with a 3-1-0 record in conference play. Prior to the game, the Spartans will honor their three seniors - Barone, Luke Norman, and Nick Wilson.
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