Thompson, Steinlage Named First Team All-Big Ten
Nov. 12, 2009
EAST LANSING, Mich. - Michigan State men's soccer midfielder Spencer Thompson and goalkeeper Avery Steinlage garnered All-Big Ten First Team honors it was announced Thursday (Nov. 12) evening at the annual conference men's soccer banquet. Junior defender Colin Givens earned a spot on the All-Big Ten Second Team and fellow defender Kevin Cope was named Co-Freshmen of the Year. Cope was also unanimously selected to the conference All-Freshman team.
Cope was a force for the Spartan defense all season, starting every match and registering two assists from the backline on his way to sharing the Freshmen of the Year Award with Ohio State goalkeeper Matt Lampson. It was the first time since 2003 the conference coaches selected a pair of newcomers Freshmen of the Year and only third co-selection in the award's history. Cope helped a tenacious defense that allowed only 14 goals in 18 games, good enough for second in the conference. Cope joins Jason Wolff (1994) as the only other Spartan to garner the accolade.
For Steinlage, it is second consecutive All-Big Ten First Team honor as he joins Reid Friedrichs (1995-'96) as the only other goalkeeper in Spartan history to accomplish the feat. Steinlage began the 2009 campaign with an 805:03 shutout streak that he extended to a remarkable 1,318:26, setting the new NCAA consecutive shutout streak record. He has seven shutouts this season, giving him 17 for his career and a place in the school's all-time shutout list top five. Entering Friday's game, his goals-against average is 0.57 and has remained below 0.61 all season, consistently keeping him among the nation's leaders.
For Thompson it is his first All-Big Ten accolade. The junior from Shelby Township has started all 19 games for the Green and White this season, scoring two goals and adding four assists. Thompson's best game of the season came in a 2-1 win over Michigan on Oct. 25 when he scored the first goal of the game and then assisted on Cyrus Saydee's game-winner.
Givens, a Spartan co-captain, was the leader of the Spartans' stout defense all season. The always reliable defender started 16 of MSU's 19 games on the backline, missing three matches due to injury.
The Spartans (11-6-2) will face Penn State at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday in the semifinals of the Big Ten Tournament. The game will air live on the Big Ten Network.
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