Nov. 5, 2010
Michigan State will conclude the 2010 regular season when they travel to Wisconsin-Milwaukee to take on the Panthers. The teams will kickoff on Saturday (Nov. 6) at 2:00 p.m. ET. The Spartans enter the weekend with an overall record of 11-6-0, and finished Big Ten competition 2-4-0.
Last Time Out
Michigan State was defeated 1-0 by No. 2 Akron in the final regular-season game at DeMartin Stadium on Wednesday (Nov. 3). MSUs back line provided solid defense throughout the matchup, creating a scoreless first half. The Zips scored the lone goal in the 52nd minute of play, when Darlington Nagbe stopped short to elude a defender and got the ball to Darren Mattocks, who finished the play into the Spartan net. Michigan State continued to press offensively and generated chances in the final minutes, including a barely-wide shot by Spencer Thompson, but the Spartans couldn't find the equalizing goal.
Scouting the Spartans
After a scoreless game versus Akron, Domenic Barone continues to top the MSU scoring charts with eight goals and 19 points. Brent Rosendall follows with seven goals (16 points), and Spencer Thompson ranks third in points (14). The senior co-captain also leads the team in assists with eight, while Cyrus Saydee is right behind with 12 points and a second-best six helpers. Avery Steinlage is currently boasting a 1.23 GAA and a .791 save percentage. In 16 games played, and the senior has been the goalie of record in each of MSUs contests this season.
A Look at the Panthers
Michigan State is trails Milwaukee in the all-time series by a record of 6-3-0. Their last meeting, however, was 18 years in October of 1992. MSU emerged victorious in the last meeting, 3-2.
Milwaukee comes into the matchup with a 6-8-2 overall record on the season. The Panther offense is spread among 12 players, nine of which have scored at least one goal. Milwaukee's top scorer is Andrew Wiedabach, who has four tallies and owns 12 points. Joran Record is next in line with three goals (6 points), and Edison Crespo rounds out the top three with two scores (5 points). Wiedabach is also tied with Ross Van Osdol in assists, with four helpers each. Milwaukees go-to goalkeeper is John Shakon, who owns a GAA of .78 and a save percentage of .809 in 11 games played.
Big Ten Leaders
As the 2010 winds down, Michigan State continues to sit atop the Big Ten in almost every statistical category. The Spartans are number one in goals (35) and goals per game (2.06), second-best in points (102), and shutouts (7), and third in assists (32), GAA (1.22), and saves (79).
Individually, six Spartans are finding their names among conference leaders in the Big Ten statistical rankings. Domenic Barone is fourth in the conference in points per game (1.46), goals (8), and goals per game (.62), and is sixth in points (19), and eighth in shots per game (2.62). Brent Rosendall moved to seventh in the Big Ten in goals (7), is ninth in points (16), and is 10th in points per game (.94). Owning eight assists, Spencer Thompson is tied for second in that list, and in assists per game (.47). Meanwhile, Cyrus Saydee is sixth in the conference in assists (6) and seventh for assists per game (.35). Rubin Bega is in a three-way tie for ninth in the Big Ten in shots (36). On the defense, Avery Steinlage is number one in saves, with 77 stopped and is tied for second-best in shutouts with four. The senior is also third for save percentage (.794) and saves per game (4.53), fifth in shutouts per game (.24) and GAA (1.22).
In the most recent NCAA statistical rankings, Michigan State is ranked ninth in scoring offense with an average of 2.19. The Spartans are also 10th in the nation in total goals with 35 goals tallied so far this season. Dominic Barone is sitting at 17th in the country in goals per game (.67) and 21st in points per game (1.58). Spencer Thompson is also making an appearance in the national rankings; he is 13th in total assists (8), and 18th in assists per game (.5).
The most recent Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) was released on Tuesday (Nov. 2). 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; the RPI takes into account not only wins and losses by a team, but also its strength of schedule. Michigan State ranks 12th overall in RPI, the third-highest in the Big Ten, behind Penn State (#8) and Conference regular-season champion Indiana (#9). Akron, Louisville, and North Carolina are the top three in the rankings, followed by Southern Methodist University, Maryland, and California.
Michigan State boasts nine teams in the RPI Top 48 on its schedule this season, five of them non-Big Ten competition. MSU has played No. 2 Akron (L, 0-1), No. 5 Maryland (W 4-3 in OT); No. 10 Notre Dame (W, 2-0), No. 15 Georgetown (L, 0-4) and No. 33 Providence (W, 4-0). In addition, MSU played No. 24 Duke in an exhibition game prior to the season (W, 1-0).
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.
The Spartans must await the results the coming weekend's games - and the final Big Ten regular-season standings to shake out before learning the matchups for next weekend's Big Ten Tournament. Penn State will host the tournament at Jeffrey Field; first-round games begin on Thursday, and the semifinals will be contested on in State College, Penn. The finals will be played on Sunday at 12 noon. The two semifinal matchups and championship game will air live on the Big Ten Network.