No. 23 Spartans Face UM
M. Soccer Preview
Oct. 30, 2010
No. 23 Michigan State mens soccer team will put an impressive streak on the line when they they travel to Ann Arbor, Mich. to take on archrival Michigan on Saturday (Oct. 30). The teams kickoff at 1:00 p.m. at the U-M Soccer Complex. The Spartans enter the weekend 11-4-0 overall and 2-3-0 in the Big Ten.
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Scouting the Spartans
Michigan State, which is looking to keep the Big Bear trophy in East Lansing for another season, leads the all-time series with the Wolverines, 25-3-5, and have never lost a game to the Wolverines in Ann Arbor. The Spartans are coming off a tough loss last Sunday (Oct. 24), when an injury-riddled squad lost, 3-0, to Indiana - MSU lost three players off its back line in the first 30 minutes of play. Brent Rosendall is currently leading MSU scoring with seven goals, Domenic Barone and Rubin Bega round out the top three with six and four, respectively. Spencer Thompson owns seven assists this season which puts him on top in that category, while Cyrus Saydee is behind by one with six. In 15 games played, Avery Steinlage is tallying a GAA of 1.12 and a save percentage of .805.
Looking at the Wolverines
Michigan comes into the contest 2-2-0 in Big Ten competition, 9-4-3 on the season. Soony Saad two goals against Bowling Green earlier this week and maintains his top spot in Wolverine scoring, with 14 goals this season. Justin Meram, who has scored seven times, and Matt Schmitt, who has four, are the other two top Wolverine scorers. As Michigan's primary goalkeeper, Chris Blais is boasting a 1.37 GAA and a .750 save percentage.
Big Ten Leaders
The Spartans are sitting in the top three spots in the conference in almost every major offensive category: MSU is number one in goals per game (2.2), and is tied for first in shutouts (7). The Spartans are second in the Big Ten in assists (30), assists per game (2.00), and GAA (1.13), points (96), and goals (33).
Individually, there are eight Spartans who are finding their names among conference leaders in the Big Ten statistical rankings. Domenic Barone is eighth in the conference in points with 15, and in goals (6), sixth in shots per game (2.55), fifth in points per game (1.36) and fourth in goals per game (.55). Brent Rosendall stayed in fourth in the conference in goals (7), is tied for sixth in points (16), seventh in points per game (1.07), and is fifth in goals per game (.47). Owning seven assists, Spencer Thompson is currently tied for second in that list, and in assists per game (.47). Meanwhile, Cyrus Saydee is tied for fourth in the conference in assists (6) and assists per game (.40). Mark Barone and Jeff Ricondo are currently tied for tenth place in assists (4), while Barone is eighth in assist per game (.36) as well. Avery Steinlage held on to third place in GAA (1.12) this week, and second for save percentage (.804), saves (69), and third in saves per game (4.70). The senior is also tied for second-best in shutouts with four.
In the most recent NCAA statistical rankings, Michigan State is ranked ninth in total goals (33), and 15th in scoring offense, averaging 2.2 goals per game. The squad is also 18th in winning percentage (.800). Individually, Spencer Thompson is 17th in the country in assists, with seven helpers this season.
The most recent Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) was released this Monday (Oct. 25). 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. Michigan State ranks ninth overall in RPI, the second-highest in the Big Ten and just one spot behind Indiana. Akron, Southern Methodist, and Louisville are the top three in the rankings, followed by Maryland, North Carolina, and William and Mary.
In the Annals
Senior keeper Avery Steinlage is chiseling his name in the all-time career records at Michigan State. Entering Saturday's game, his career save percentage is .867, which would place him first in the career recordbook, and his 0.72 GAA would be second, one spot ahead of former MSU head coach Joe Baum. He owns 33 career wins (third) and 20 shutouts (tied with Reid Friedrichs) for second in the MSU record book.