No. 12 MSU Takes on No. 1 Maryland in B1G Tournament Semifinals Friday
The fourth-seeded Spartans take on top-seeded Terps in Indiana.
EAST LANSING. Mich. - No. 12 Michigan State men’s soccer will travel to Westfield, Indiana for the semifinals of the Big Ten Soccer Tournament to take on top-seeded and No. 1 ranked Maryland on Friday, Nov. 11 at 12 p.m. at Grand Park. The game will be televised on the Big Ten Network with Dean Linke and Chris Doran on the call.
B1G Tournament Notes vs. Maryland
The fourth-seeded Spartans are currently 13-4-1 this season after defeating fifth-seeded Penn State in the quarterfinals, 2-1, on Sunday. Top-seeded Maryland is currently 16-0-2 this season, having won 13-straight games.
SCOUTING REPORT: MARYLAND
Maryland enters the Big Ten Tournament semifinal not only as the No. 1 seed, but also the No. 1 ranked team in the nation. The Terrapins have won 13-straight games this season, entering the game with a 16-0-2 record.
Sophomore Gordon Wild is first in the Big Ten in goals with 15 just ahead of MSU’s Ryan Sierakowski. Amar Sejdic and Alex Crognale are second on the team in scoring with six goals apiece. Maryland is second in the nation in scoring offense with 2.50 goals per game.
Senior goalkeeper Cody Niedermeier has started all 18 games this season for the Terps. He has allowed only 17 goals in 18 games for a 0.88 GAA. Niedermeier has a .712 save percentage this season.
Michigan State holds a 5-2-3 overall record with Maryland. In College Park on Sept. 23, the Terrapins stopped the Spartans 2-0 in one of only three times that MSU has been shutout this season. Last season, the two teams battled to a 0-0 double overtime tie in East Lansing. In 2014, the teams met twice with MSU holding a 1-0-1 record. During the regular season, Michigan State stopped Maryland at always tough Ludwig Field, 1-0. In the Big Ten Tournament semifinals, the teams fought to a 0-0 double overtime time, before Maryland advanced on penalty kicks, 3-2.
B1G TOURNEY UNDER RENSING
Michigan State is 8-5-1 in the B1G Tournament under head coach Damon Rensing, advancing to the semifinals in the last three seasons, as well as the finals in 2012 and 2013, winning the 2012 B1G Tournament title.
2009 - at Bloomington, Ind. (1-1)
QF: No. 6 Michigan State 1, No. 3 NU 0
SF: No. 2 Penn St. 3, No. 6 Michigan State 0
2010 - at State College, Penn. (0-1)
QF: Michigan 2, Michigan State 1
2011 - at Ann Arbor, Mich. (0-1)
QF: Indiana 2, Michigan State 1
2012 - at Evanston, Ill. (3-0)
QF: No. 5 Michigan State 2, No. 4 Indiana 1
SF: No. 5 Michigan State 3, No. 1 Penn State 1
Finals: No. 5 Michigan State 2, No. 3 Michigan 1
2013 - at Columbus, Ohio (2-1)
QF No. 3 Michigan State 2, No. 6 Ohio St. 1
SF: No. 3 Michigan State 1, No. 7 NU 0
Finals: No. 5 Indiana 1, No. 3 Michigan State 0
2014 - at University Park, Pa. / College Park, Md. (1-0-1)
QF: No. 5 Michigan State 1, No. 4 Penn State 0
SF: No. 5 Michigan State 0, No. 1 Maryland 0
(UMD advances, 3-2, in penalty kicks)
2015 - at Columbus, Ohio (0-1-0)
1st Round: No. 9 Penn State 2, No. 8 Michigan State 1 (OT)
2016 - at East Lansing, Mich. (1-0-0)
1st Round: No. 4 Michigan State 2, No. 5 Penn State 1
BIG TEN TOURNAMENT HISTORY
The Spartans are making their 26th B1G Tournament appearance in program history, toting an 20-21-3 overall B1G Tournament ledger. The Spartans have an 12-9-1 quarterfinal record, a 5-9-2 semifinal mark and a 3-2 record in the finals. Michigan State has advanced to the semifinals in four of the last five seasons, as well as the championship match in two of the last four seasons and three in the last eight.
Grand Park – The Sports Campus at Westfield, Indiana – will serve as host for the 2016 and 2017 Big Ten Men’s Soccer Tournaments. This marks the first time the Big Ten Men’s Soccer Tournament will be held at a neutral location in addition to being Grand Park’s first collegiate soccer tournament. Following preliminary round play on campus sites, the semifinals and finals of the 2016 Big Ten Men’s Soccer Tournament will occur at Grand Park on November 11 and 13.
FOURTH AS FOURTH
Michigan State is the number four seed in the Big Ten Tournament for the first time since 2005 and the fourth time overall, eventually facing the No. 1 seed all four times. The Spartans are in pursuit of their first win as a No. 4 seed over the No. 1 seed.
1991 - at Bloomington, Ind. (1-1)
QF: No. 4 Michigan State 1, No. 5 Ohio State 0
SF: No. 1 Wisconsin 3, No. 4 Michigan State 0
1995 - at East Lansing, Mich. (1-1)
QF: No. 4 Michigan State 3, No. 5 Ohio State 2
SF: No. 1 Wisconsin 2, No. 4 Michigan State 0
2005 - at Evanston, Ill. (1-1)
QF: No. 4 Michigan State 1, No. 5 Michigan 0
SF: No. 1 Penn State 2, No. 4 Michigan State 0
2016 - at East Lansing, Mich. (1-0) / Westerfield, Ind.
QF: No. 4 Michigan State 2, No. 5 Penn State 1
SF: No. 4 Michigan State vs. No. 1 Maryland
FIRST FOR FISCUS
Junior defender Jimmy Fiscus netted his first career goal in MSU’s 2-1 quarterfinal win over fifth-seeded Penn State on Nov. 6. Fiscus scored on a diving header in the 75th minute after a shot by sophomore forward Ryan Sierakowski was saved by the PSU keeper, then bounced off the post and in front of the goal, where Fiscus dove and headed it home for what proved to be the game-winner.
Fiscus has played every minute of every match for the Spartans this season, was rewarded with his first career goal. Earlier this season, Fiscus tallied his first career assist that came on the game-winning goal of MSU’s 2-1 win over then No. 19 Akron on Oct. 11, then added his second assist just over a week later in the Spartans’ 2-0 win over Yale on Oct. 19.
Six different Spartans have netted their first career goal this season and four have been game-winning goals while the fifth was a game-tying goal, including freshman forward Giuseppe Barone (game-tying goal in 2-1 upset win at No. 12 SMU on Aug. 26), junior defender Brad Centala (game-winning goal in 1-0 win over Michigan on Sept. 18), senior defender Andrew Herr (game-winner in 2-1 win vs. Yale on Oct. 19), sophomore forward Hunter Barone (third goal vs. Rutgers on Sept. 9), junior midfielder Michael Marcantognini (second goal vs. Rutgers on Sept. 9) and freshman forward Michael Beckett (game-winner in 1-0 win at No. 13 Notre Dame on Oct. 22).
SPREADING THE WEALTH
This season despite the goal production from sophomore forward Ryan Sierakowski, Michigan State has spread the wealth this season. Ten different Spartans have found the back of the net for MSU in 2016.
CLIMBING THE CHARTS
Forward Ryan Sierakowski has suffered no sophomore slump this season. In two seasons in the Spartan Green and White, he has 16 career goals. He is also tied for first in the Big Ten in game-winning goals with six. He passed his 2015 point total of 15 last season with his game-winning goal against Northwestern on Oct. 22. Overall this season, he has nine goals and five assists for 23 points.
Michigan State has been stellar at home this season with a 9-0-1 record at DeMartin Stadium in 2016. Last season, MSU was 5-4-1 at home. The Spartans broke the school record the most home wins, passing the 2010 team that went 8-2-0. This was the first time since 1975 that MSU went undefeated at home. In that season, the Spartans were 5-0-0.
Jimmy Hague is having an amazing season in his first season as a starter in goal for the Spartans. After 17 games this season, Hague has a goals against average of 0.75. Hague is third in the Big Ten in GAA behind Wisconsin’s Phillip Schilling (0.65) and Penn State’s Evan Finney (0.73).
GETTING IN THE CARDIO
Junior defender Jimmy Fiscus is the only Spartan to have played every minute this season, logging in 1,656 minutes. Ten players have played at least 1,200 minutes this season, including defenders Michael Wetungu and Dewey Lewis who both have played nearly 1,500 minutes. The Spartan conditioning seems to be paying off, as MSU has had the same starting 11 in 11 of the 18 games season.
2015 B1G TOURNEY FLASHBACK
Eighth-seeded Michigan State men’s soccer dropped a close 2-1 overtime battle with ninth-seeded Penn State in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium in Columbus, Ohio.
MSU ends the season 8-9-2, while Penn State improves to 7-7-3. The Nittany Lions will now face top-seeded Ohio State on Sunday, Nov. 8.
2015 - at Columbus, Ohio (0-1-0)
1st Round: No. 9 Penn State 2, No. 8 Michigan State 1 (OT)
Michigan State had the same starting lineup for the first 11 games of the season. In MSU’s 2-1 win over No. 23 Akron, the Spartans had two changes with sophomore midfielder DeJuan Jones and redshirt-junior midfielder Ryan Scott both making their first starts of the season.
BIG TEN OPENERS
Michigan State is 4-2-2 in the first match of Big Ten play under head coach Damon Rensing. The Spartans have won three of their last four B1G openers, picking up wins against Northwestern in 2013 and Maryland in 2014, before tying Maryland last season along with defeated Rutgers, 4-0, on Sept. 9.
This was the Spartans earliest Big Ten opener since opening the season against Northwestern on Sept. 3, 1994. Prior to that the earliest B1G game was also against Northwestern on Sept. 8, 1996. This was also the first time that MSU has opened league play against the Scarlet Knights.
Seventeen of the Spartans’ 25 goals this season have been scored by underclassmen. Sophomore Ryan Sierakowski is first on the team with nine goals. Giuseppe Barone has scored three times this season. Sophomores DeJuan Jones, and Hunter Barone have all scored two goals this season. MSU has started five underclassmen this season, including freshmen Michael Wetungu, Michael Pimlott and Giuseppe Barone. Sophomores Hunter Barone and Jones have come off the bench. Freshman Michael Beckett scored his first goal of the season in MSU’s 1-0 win over No. 12 Notre Dame on Oct. 25.
O CAPTAIN! MY CAPTAIN!
Michigan State has three captains this season in seniors Andrew Herr and Dewey Lewis, along with junior Jimmy Fiscus.
SPARTANS HONORED WITH POSTSEASON AWARDS
Eight different Michigan State men’s soccer player were honored when the Big Ten postseason awards were announced by the league on Friday.
Sophomore forward Ryan Sierakowski was named to the first-team All-Big Ten squad. Michigan State has had at least one first-team selection every season since 1999. Last season, defender Zach Carroll was the lone Spartan on the first-team list. Overall, Sierakowski is the 34th MSU player to earn first-team honors.
Sierakowski, a native of McHenry, Illinois, is second in the Big Ten in goals scored with nine. He is also tied for third in the league in points with 21. The sophomore forward is tied for first in the conference and first on the team with six game-winning goals. Last season, Sierakowski was named to the All-Freshman team.
Michigan State had three players named to the second-team, including redshirt-sophomore goalkeeper Jimmy Hague, junior midfielder Ken Krolicki and junior defender Jimmy Fiscus. This was the first time since 2010 that MSU has had three players on the second team. That season Domenic Barone, Kevin Cope and Avery Steinlage earned honors.
Hague, a native of Walled Lake, Michigan, has had a breakout season in goal for MSU. Hague is third in the Big Ten in goals against average (0.75) and save percentage (.797). Krolicki, who hails from Plymouth, Michigan, is tied for second on the team in scoring with three goals and two assists for eight points. Fiscus, a native of Novi, Michigan, is the only Spartan to have played every minute this season. He is part of the tenacious MSU backline that has allowed only 13 goals in 17 games this season. All three are first-time selections.
Freshman midfielder Giuseppe Barone was named Big Ten Freshman of the Year. He is the second Spartan to ever earn the honor and the first since Kevin Cope in 2009. Barone, who hails from Grandville, Michigan, is tied for second on the team in scoring with two goals and four assists for eight points.
Along with Barone, freshmen defenders Michael Pimlott and Michael Wetungu were both named to the All-Freshman team. Pimlott, a native of Farmington Hills, Michigan, has started 16 games this season during his rookie campaign. Wetungu, who hails from Rochester Hills, Michigan, has started every game this season as part of the fierce MSU backline. Both Barone and Wetungu were unanimous selections.
HERR AND CENTALA EARN ACADEMIC HONORS
Michigan State men’s soccer players Andrew Herr and Brad Centala were named first-team Academic All-District Team on Thursday, Oct. 27. Both were recognized as a part of NCAA Division I District 5 by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).
Herr, a native of Millersville, Pennsylvania, owns a 3.98 GPA in packaging. This is the second-straight Academic All-District honor for the senior midfielder. He follows in the footsteps of midfielder Ryan Keener who earned first-team Academic All-America honors in 2014.
This season, Herr has started 14 of the Spartans’ 16 games. He is tied for first with four assists this season to go along with his first career goal against Yale on Oct. 19. For his Spartan career, Herr has played in 77 games, starting 76. He has one career goal and seven assist for nine points.
Herr earned Academic All-Big Ten honors as a sophomore and a junior. He was also named a Big Ten Distinguished Scholar as a redshirt-freshman.
Centala, a native of Grosse Pointe Woods, Michigan, earned his first All-District honor with a 3.85 in kinesiology.
The junior defender has started all 16 games this season for the Spartans, scoring the game winning-goal against in-state rival Michigan on Sept. 18. Centala has played over 1,300 minutes this season, as part of the Michigan State defense that has allowed only 11 goals in 16 games.
MICHIGAN STATE NOTES
• Michigan State men’s soccer was picked sixth in the Big Ten Preseason Coaches Poll. The Spartans ended the 2015 campaign with an 8-9-2 overall record and a 2-4-2 Big Ten mark. Two-time defending Big Ten Tournament champion, Maryland was picked first despite finishing tied for third in the regular season in 2015. Indiana was voted to finish in the No. 2 spot, followed by 2015 regular season champs Ohio State at No. 3. Rutgers checked in at the No. 4 followed by Michigan at the No. 5 position and Michigan State at No. 6. Wisconsin was voted to finish in the No. 7 spot followed by Penn State (No. 8) and Northwestern (No. 9).
• The 2016 Big Ten Tournament will begin on Sunday, Nov. 6 at the top four seeds’ home sites. The semifinals will follow on Friday, Nov. 11 and the championship will be held on Sunday, Oct. 13. The Big Ten semifinal and championship will be played at Grand Park in Westfield, Indiana.
• MSU returns seven starters from last season’s team that finished the season 8-9-2 overall and 2-4-2 in Big Ten action. The Spartans return two of their top three scorers in sophomore forward Ryan Sierakowski and junior midfielder Ken Krolicki. Sierakowski led the team in scoring with seven goals and three assists for 17 points. He was also named to the Big Ten All-Freshman squad. Krolicki was third in scoring with two goals and three assists for seven points.
TOPDRAWER PRESEASON HONORS
The junior duo of defender Jimmy Fiscus and midfielder Ken Krolicki were named to the Preseason Top 100 Players Rankings by TopDrawerSoccer. Freshman midfielder Giuseppe Barone was tabbed to the TopDrawerSoccer Freshman First Team.
Freshman Giuseppe Barone became the fourth member of the Barone family to don the Green and White. He joins current Spartan Hunter as well as former MSU players Mark (2008-11) Domenic (2008-12).
LAST TIME OUT
Behind impressive goals from Jimmy Fiscus and Giuseppe Barone, fourth-seeded and No. 15 ranked Michigan State men’s soccer knocked off fifth-seeded Penn State, 2-1, in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten Tournament Sunday afternoon at a sunbathed DeMartin Stadium.
“We are excited and just really proud of our guys. I thought it had an NCAA tournament type feel when seasons are on the line and you got to give our guys a lot of credit. We asked them to play 90 minutes and I thought they played a full 90 and that definitely created more chances,” MSU head coach Damon Rensing said. “We stayed patient and we scored a goal and then gave up a point. You have to give their kid credit on the goal. The second half, the ball was not falling our way, but we just kept going and chipping away and we got that great goal by Fiscus and I thought we did a really good job sealing the win.”
Sunday was the first-ever Big Ten Tournament game played at DeMartin and the spirited crowd was treated to a great battle between the Spartans and Nittany Lions. With the victory, MSU improved to 13-4-1 on the season, while PSU leveled its record at 8-8-2. The win helped the Spartans avenge a 2-1 regular-season loss at Penn State, as well as a 2-1 OT loss to the Nittany Lions in last season’s B1G Tournament. MSU trimmed PSU’s lead in the all-time series to 22-14-2 with Sunday’s win, in addition to the Nittany Lions’ 8-6-2 advantage at DeMartin Stadium.