Chapman's Hat Trick Downs No. 16 Indiana, 3-1
Michigan State got a hat trick from freshman Jay Chapman - the first three goals of his Spartan career - and played a sound defensive game in knocking off No. 16 Indiana, 3-1, on Sunday afternoon. Ryan Thelen and Adam Montague each had two assists on the day as MSU improved to 8-7-1 overall and 3-2-0 in Big Ten play.
Michigan State is 8-9-1 and 3-3-0 in Big Ten play while Indiana is 11-4-3 and finished with a 3-2-1 record in the Big Ten.
Heading into the final game, the Spartans had a chance to win the regular season Big Ten title outright. Michigan came away with a 1-0 victory, pushing MSU back to fifth in the standings. A goal off of a corner kick in the 70th minute proved to be all the Wolverines would need in the intense rivalry game to come away with the win.
Michigan State is 11-35-3 all-time against the Hoosiers. When Michigan State and Indiana met earlier this season, the Spartans came away with a 3-1 victory. Freshman Jay Chapman recorded a hat trick in the game while Ryan Thelen and Adam Montague each had two assists.
Last season, MSU rallied from a two-goal defecit to tie the Hoosiers, 2-2, in Bloomington. The two teams also met in last years first round of the Big Ten Tournament. The Hoosiers won the game 2-1 advancing to the semifinals where they lost to Northwestern in a game decided on penalty kicks.
The Spartans own a 14-19-2 record all-time in the Big Ten Tournament.
The Spartans are 2-4 against the Hoosiers all-time in the Big Ten Tournament, and this is the second straight season that these teams will meet in the quarterfinals.
Three of MSU's Big Ten Tournament championhip game appearances have been against the Hoosiers. MSU won the tournament in 2008 as the number one seed, defeating Indiana in the finals 1-0.
The Spartan offense tallied the most goals in Big Ten games this season with nine goals in six games.
Despite starting the season 3-6-1, Michigan State won five games during the month of October. Of the Spartans nine losses on the season, just one of those was by more than one goal (at No. 3/8 Notre Dame, 2-0) and three of those losses came in double overtime.
Freshman goalkeeper Zach Bennett continues to be a consistent force in net for the Spartans. In his eight starts, Michigan State is 5-3 and has outscored opponents 10-6 in those games. Bennett has given up multiple goals in a game just once - in a 2-1 loss at Penn State in which the game-winner was an own goal. Bennett is third in the Big Ten in both GAA (0.71) and save percentage (.812).
The Hoosiers are led on offense by likely Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year Eriq Zavaleta, who leads the league and ranks fourth nationally in goals (15) and fifth in points (32). A.J. Corrado ranks eighth in the nation and leads the Big Ten in assists with nine on the season.
Luis Soffner has started all 18 games in net for the Hoosiers. He has allowed just 14 goals through 18 games and recorded a Big Ten-best nine shutouts. He ranks second in the league in GAA (0.74), save percentage (.825) and saves (66).
Five teams on MSU's 2012 slate appear in this week's NSCAA poll. Four of those teams (all MSU non-conference opponents) are in the current NSCAA Top 10: No. 1 Akron, No. 6 Connecticut, No. 7 Notre Dame, and No. 10 Marquette while conference opponent Indiana ranks 21st.
The Spartans earned Big Ten honors in two straight weeks, beginning with Domenic Barone and Zach Bennett sweeping Big Ten honors on Oct. 22, followed by Freshman Jay Chapman earning Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week for his three-goal effort in the win against No. 16 Indiana on Oct. 29.
Some significant injuries have shortened MSU's bench this season, with players being lost for the remainder of the year. Starting back Josh Barens has not seen the field at all this season, but is expected to be ready to go for the spring training sessions and games. He will apply for a medical redshirt season. Freshman Andrew Herr sustained a season-ending injury in the exhibition game vs. IPFW, and will also apply for a medical redshirt.
MSU lost two players for the remainder of the season during the Big Ten/BIG EAST Challenge - Wesley Curtis sustained his injury against Notre Dame, and Kyle Rutz in the home game against Marquette. In addition, Brent McIntosh will miss the remainder of the season as well.
Head Coach Damon Rensing is in his fourth season as head coach, but embarks on his 14th on the Spartan sideline after a standout career for the Spartans (1993-96). Rensing is 31-23-9 in his first three seasons as head coach, but MSU boasts an 110-64-21 (.619) overall record with Rensing on the sidelines, including 11 or more wins in eight seasons.
Kylie Stannard and Ben Pirmann serve as the Spartan assistants. Pirmann is also a former Spartan letterwinner, and previously served the program as the volunteer assistant before returning to his alma mater after a coaching stint at Western Michigan. Stannard is a graduate of Creighton, which reached the Elite Eight twice in his career and the semifinals once. Prior to coming to MSU, he was an assistant coach at Northern Illinois. This past summer, Stannard made his debut as the head coach of Detroit City FC, which plays in the National Premier Soccer League. Former MSU keeper Jeremy Clark, (2008-11), is now in his first season as the team's volunteer coach.
Michigan State was selected third in the pre-season Big Ten men's soccer poll. In conjunction with the pre-season survey, Senior Domenic Barone , junior Kevin Cope and sophomore Adam Montague were mentioned on the Big Ten 2012 Players to Watch List.
The winner of Wednesday's game takes on regular season co-champion and No. 1 Penn State on Friday at 12 p.m. The Spartans fell on the road to the Nittany Lions by a 2-1 score earlier this season, but the game-winner was an own goal by the Spartans.