No. 13 Spartan Soccer Hosts SIUE in the First Round of the NCAA Tournament
MSU and SIUE meet for the first time since 1995.
EAST LANSING, Mich. - No. 13 Michigan State men’s soccer returns home for another game at DeMartin Stadium, hosting the first round of the NCAA Tournament against SIU Edwardsville on Thursday, Nov. 17 at 1 p.m. Streaming will be free through www.msuspartans.com.
MSU NCAA First Round Notes | SIUE Notes | Streaming | Live Stats
The Spartans are currently 13-5-1 this season after falling in the Big Ten Tournament semifinals to No. 1 Maryland. SIUE is 10-4-5 this season and is undefeated in its last 12 games, going 9-0-3 during that stretch.
SCOUTING REPORT: SIUE
SIUE enters the first round NCAA Tournament as the 2016 Missouri Valley Conference Champions, and own an overall mark of 10-4-5. The Cougars are currently on a two game winning streak, but are 9-0-3 in their last 12 games.
SIUE is making its second appearance (2014) in the NCAA Division I Tournament in the last three seasons. This is SIUE’s 12th appearance in the Division I Tournament and the 23rd NCAA Tournament appearance overall. The Cougars won the Division I national title in 1979.
SIUE has two players who have recorded double-digit points. Junior Devyn Jambga is the leading goal-scorer with six goals and three assists for a total of 15 points. Senior Austin Ledbetter is close behind with five goals and one assist to record a total of 11 points. Redshirt sophomore Keegan McHugh is pacing the Cougars with four assists this season.
Junior Kyle Dal Santo has played every single minute as the primary goalkeeper for the Cougars. He owns an overall record of 10-4-5, and has eight shutouts. Santo has allowed 14 goals for a goals against average of 0.69 to rank him 19th in Division I nationally. He has recorded 73 saves this year for a saves percentage of .839, which ranks him fourth nationally.
Overall, SIUE holds the series advantage 2-1. The last time the teams met was in 1995 with MSU winning 4-0. Michigan State and SIUE have had three common opponents this 2016 season, including Notre Dame, Butler, and Ohio State.
SIUE is 1-1-1 against the competition, playing to a draw against Notre Dame in its season home-opener on Aug. 14. The Cougars went on fall to Butler 2-0, on Sept.3, and then defeated Ohio State 3-2, on Sept. 28. The matchups with Ohio State and Butler were on the road, while the game against Notre Dame was at home.
MSU is 2-0-1 against the common opponents this season. The Spartans fell to Butler 3-2 on Aug. 20, but then defeated conference foe Ohio State on Oct. 2, and Notre Dame 1-0 on Oct. 25. All three of Michigan State’s games against the common opponents were road games.
SIUE scored three goals against the common opponents, while Michigan State scored four. The Cougars allowed four goals, and the Spartans allowed three goals.
B1G TOURNEY UNDER RENSING
Michigan State is 8-6-1 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./Westfield, Ind. (1-1-0)
QF: No. 4 Michigan State 2, No. 5 Penn State 1
SF: No. 1 Maryland 2, Michigan 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.
Many Spartans will be making their first appearance in the NCAA Tournament. There are 12 MSU players who were on the NCAA Tournament roster in 2014. In the Spartans’ Elite Eight loss to Providence Jimmy Fiscus, Andrew Herr and Dewey Lewis all started. Michael Marcantognini, Brian Winterfield and Ken Krolicki all saw time off the bench.
FIRST FOR FISCUS
Junior defender Jimmy Fiscus netted his first goal of the season 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.
$1 MILLION GIFT TO HELP LIGHT UP MSU’S DEMARTIN STADIUM
Michigan State University has announced a $1 million gift from alumnus Craig Bush to support construction of lights at DeMartin Stadium, home of MSU men’s and women’s soccer.
A portion of the gift also helped complete fundraising for the Lasch Family Golf Center, with the proposed naming of the Craig Bush Indoor Practice Area within the facility.
The donation is in support of Empower Extraordinary, the campaign for Michigan State University. The gift, made through the Spartan Fund, is the 25th gift of at least $1 million to MSU Athletics since the start of the campaign in July 2011.
“Our campus provides a vibrant and inspiring place to teach and coach and Craig’s gift shows a deep commitment to our campus community and our students,” MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon said. “His generosity will not only impact four of our athletics programs, but will also inspire other Spartans to make an impact.”
Bush, a 1983 graduate of MSU’s James Madison College, is an experienced private equity investor. He currently has investments in the health care, technology, infrastructure and manufacturing sectors, among others. Under Bush’s ownership, ViewPoint Mobility, a manufacturer of wheelchair accessible vans, was selected as a “Michigan 50 Companies to Watch” by the Edward Lowe Foundation.
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 18 games this season, Hague has a goals against average of 0.83. Hague is fourth in the Big Ten in GAA behind Wisconsin’s Phillip Schilling (0.72), Indiana’s Colin Webb (0.82) and Penn State’s Evan Finney (0.79).
GETTING IN THE CARDIO
Junior defender Jimmy Fiscus is the only Spartan to have played every minute this season, logging in 1,746 minutes. Ten players have played at least 1,300 minutes this season, including defenders Michael Wetungu and Dewey Lewis who both have played over 1,600 minutes. The Spartan conditioning seems to be paying off, as MSU has had the same starting 11 in 11 of the 19 games season.
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’ 26 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 EARN 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
Fourth-seeded Michigan State men’s soccer fell to top-seeded and No. 1 ranked Maryland, 2-1, in the semifinals of the Big Ten Tournament held in Westfield, Indiana on Friday.
With the loss, the Spartans fall to 13-5-1 this season with two losses coming against Maryland. Three of MSU’s five losses are to ranked teams. Maryland has now won 14-straight games and improves to 17-0-2 this season.
“I thought that there were a couple lessons to learn today. I thought that we played the No. 1 team in the country on a neutral site dead even. We actually had more chances. It is also a good lesson for the NCAA Tournament that there is a slim margin of error. I think that is something that we can take away from this game. There was a good play by their forward and a mistake in the back, and we missed a chance or two,” MSU head coach Damon Rensing said. “That is how we lost 2-1 in a relatively even game.”
The Spartans are now 20-22-3 in the Big Ten Tournament, including going 8-6-1 under Rensing. Michigan State has advanced to the semifinals in four of the last five seasons.