EAST LANSING, Mich. - No. 12 Michigan State men's soccer team will return to DeMartin Stadium to host SIU Edwardsville in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Thursday, Nov. 17 at 1 p.m. MSU has been stellar at home this year with a 9-0-1 record at DeMartin this year.
"Obviously, it's very exciting. It's great to have them play at home in the first game. Coach Rensing has done an unbelievable job with this group. He is a special person to me, we've kind of bonded over the year, and I'm really looking forward to what happens. I think one of the things, you know, Damon [Rensing] is on the selection committee now for the NCAA, and I get a lot of criticism from Coach Izzo on where the Spartan basketball team is seated, so I'm going to throw a little bit of that Damon's way as well and we'll have some fun with it. I'm happy to be in the tournament, and I'm really happy to be hosting. It's going to be great for soccer fans from all over mid-Michigan to be part of this great final home match," MSU Director of Athletics Mark Hollis said.
Michigan State is 13-5-1 after falling to No. 1 Maryland in the semifinals of the Big Ten Tournament. The Terrapins earned the tournament's overall No. 1 seed. Indiana was the third Big Ten team to make the tournament, earning the overall No. 7 seed.
"We love playing at DeMartin and it is an honor to host an NCAA Tournament game. We have been to the NCAA Tournament six of the last eight years, but you can never take that for granted. We feel honored to be in the NCAA Tournament and to get a chance to host is a great feeling," MSU head coach Damon Rensing said. "We are certainly looking forward to hosting a very good SIU Edwardsville team. SIUE has not given up very many goals this year. They are a very good defensive team. The Big Ten has definitely done a great job preparing us along with our non-conference schedule."
This is the Spartan's sixth NCAA appearance under Rensing. MSU has posted a 6-5-1 record in NCAA Tournament games under his guidance. The Spartans advanced to the Elite Eight in both 2013 and 2014. Overall, MSU has reached the NCAA Tournament 16 times with a 19-11-7 record.
Michigan State is led by first-team All-Big Ten selection Ryan Sierakowski. The sophomore forward leads the team in scoring with nine goals and five assists for 23 points. Big Ten Freshman of the Year Giuseppe Barone is second in scoring with three goals and four assists for 10 points. Overall, SIUE holds the series advantage 2-1. The last time the teams met was in 1995 with MSU winning 4-0.
SIU Edwardsville earned an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament after winning the Missouri Valley Tournament. The Cougars are 10-4-5 overall, defeating Evansville and Missouri State en route to the MVC title. The Spartans and the Cougars have played one common opponent this season with both teams earning wins over Ohio State.
"It's always a good feeling. We knew we were going get in, but we weren't sure if we were going to be a lower seed, like 15 or 16. Just finally knowing where we're at, and knowing what we have to go through to get to the championship is nice," MSU senior captain Dewey Lewis said. "It's amazing honestly, I mean, our fans are always great. We always prefer to play at home obviously, we're just used to it, and hopefully we can get a win against SIUE."
Tickets will be $7 for adults and $5 for seniors, children and students. Since this is an NCAA event, Go Green Cards do not work for admittance and MSU Students must either pay or be accounted for financially by the institution. To avoid long credit card lines, fans are encouraged to print at home tickets or bring cash.