Men's Soccer Team Hosts Valparaiso on Sunday
Oct. 24, 2008
EAST LANSING, Mich. - The Spartan men's soccer team will host Valparaiso at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday (Oct. 26) at DeMartin Stadium. Prior to the match, the team will honor its seven seniors.
The Series: The Spartans are 9-1-1 all time against the Crusaders. The two teams played to a 1-1 tie last season.
Staying Hot: The Spartans are on a roll, having won four straight and seven of their last eight matches. Over this eight-game span, MSU has outscored its opponents 19-6.
In the Polls: The Spartans made their first appearance of the season in the NSCAA/adidas Poll this week, debuting at No. 24. MSU also joined the College Soccer News Poll, coming in at No. 28.
Huge W's: The Spartans' wins over No. 14 UIC and No. 18 Michigan marked the second time in consecutive seasons they have defeated ranked opponents in back-to-back games. Last year, MSU defeated No. 3 Notre Dame followed by No. 21 Michigan.
DeMartin Dominates: Senior Doug DeMartin continues to lead the Big Ten in points (30) and goals (14). He scored once in MSU's win over Cincinnati, giving him 35 career goals and moving him into fifth place on MSU's all-time goals list. His 78 career points are ninth on the MSU all-time list. His 14 goals this season are the most by a Spartan since Tom King scored 15 in 1982.
Set Up Man: Senior Zac Scaffidi is currently in a first-place tie atop the Big Ten in assists with six. Scaffidi has doubled his career assists total, as he entered the 2008 season with a total of six.
Players of the Week: On Oct. 20, Doug DeMartin was named Big Ten Offensive Co-Player of the Week for the second time this season, while goalkeeper Avery Steinlage picked up his first-career conference Defensive Player of the Week accolade. DeMartin scored twice in MSU's win over UIC, while Steinlage allowed just one goal and made 14 saves in wins over UIC and Michigan.
National Recognition: Avery Steinlage also earned NSCAA National Player of the Week honors on Wednesday for his efforts in the two MSU wins last week. He is just the second player from the Big Ten to garner the award this season. Since Steinlage took over as the starter in goal, MSU is 8-2 and his 0.81 goals-against average is second in the Big Ten and his 5.82 saves-per-game average ranks second.
Tough Competition: The Spartans are 3-2 against the five teams they have played that are currently ranked in the NSCAA/adidas Top-25 Poll. MSU will take on No. 2 Northwestern on Nov. 2 at DeMartin Stadium.
Eight of the opponents on the Spartans' schedule this season participated in last year's NCAA Tournament.
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