Men's Soccer Opens NCAA Tournament Against Tulsa
Nov. 18, 2004
EAST LANSING, Mich. -
Michigan State Men's Soccer
Spartans Earn NCAA Bid - With the Big Ten Tournament championship, MSU earned an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. This is the Spartans' 10th appearance in the NCAA Tournament, including eight straight trips from 1962-69. MSU's only other appearance came in 2001, as the Spartans defeated Butler, 2-1, in the first round, before falling to Indiana, 1-0.
MSU In The NCAA Tournament - Michigan State's all-time record in NCAA Tournament games is 16-6-4. Head coach Joe Baum's only trip to the NCAA Tournament as a coach was in 2001. The Spartans had a stretch of eight straight tournament appearances under head coach Gene Kenney from 1962-1969. In 1967 and 1968, MSU was named NCAA co-Champion with Joe Baum in goal. Baum was also on the 1966 squad. MSU reached the Final Four five times in a row from 1964-1968.
Scouting Tulsa - Michigan State has never faced the Golden Hurricanes. Tulsa's overall record is 10-6-3 and it has won four out of their last six contests. The Golden Hurricanes have proven to be tough at home this season, posting a 6-2 record on their home turf. They also counter with a high-powered offense, averaging 2.3 goals per game (10th ranked in the country). Tulsa also features the nation's leading scorer, Ryan Pore (18-10--46). They have faced two Big Ten opponents this season, Penn State and Wisconsin, and have dropped both games.
Big Ten Tournament Recap - Michigan State entered the 2004 Big Ten Tournament as the No. 5 seed, having posted a 2-4 record during the conference season. In the quarterfinals, the Spartans faced a No. 4 Wisconsin squad that had defeated MSU, 2-1, less than two weeks earlier in East Lansing. This time, MSU struck first with a Steve Doster goal in the 23rd minute, and held on for a 1-0 win. It marked MSU's first shutout in the Big Ten Tournament since a 6-0 win over Northwestern in 2000. In the semifinals, MSU faced an Indiana squad it had not defeated since 1965. Once again, the Spartans drew first blood, as Ryan McMahen's free kick from approximately 30 yards out hit the cross bar and bounced into the goal. IU answered with a goal in the 32nd minute, sending the teams into halftime tied at 1. The game-winner came in the 70th minute as Gruber found McMahen all alone in the box. McMahen struck the bouncing ball out of the air and past first-team All-Big Ten goalkeeper Jay Nolly to put MSU ahead, 2-1. On the other end, MSU goalkeeper Jason Tillman made five saves to preserve the one goal lead. On Sunday, in the championship game, the Spartans faced Northwestern, who they defeated earlier this season (10/3), 1-0. Rauwshan McKenzie served the ball to Jordan Gruber who netted the game winning goal in the championship game, for a 1-0 Spartan victory. McMahen was named the tournament's offensive MVP and Tillman was named the tournament's defensive MVP.
The Big Three - Michigan State's offense must look like a three-headed monster to opponents. Senior forwards Jordan Gruber and John Minagawa-Webster and junior midfielder Ryan McMahen have combined to score 27 of MSU's 37 goals (72.9 percent), 26 of MSU's 45 assists (57.7 percent) and 80 of MSU's 119 points (67.2 percent). Gruber leads the squad in goals (11) and points (30), while ranking third in assists (8). Minagawa-Webster is second on the team in goals (9) and points (27), and is tied for the team lead with nine assists. McMahen shares the team lead in assists and ranks third in goals (7) and points (23).
Youth Movement - As the season has progressed, Michigan State has gone with a younger lineup. For Sunday's Big Ten Tournament final, three true freshmen (Ryan Dick, Ryan Gochneaur and Rauwshan McKenzie) are expected to be in the starting lineup. McKenzie tallied the assist on Jordan Gruber's game winning goal in the Big Ten Tournament championship game. In addition, true freshmen Ben Pirmann and Kenzo Webster are two of the three reserves who usually see action. This season, MSU freshmen have made 25 starts.
MSU Head Coach Joe Baum - In his 28th year as head coach of the Spartan men's soccer program, Baum will make his second NCAA Tournament appearance. He went 1-1 in the 2001 tournament, which is his only other trip to the NCAA's. His all time record is 266-197-40.
Michigan State Soccer Player Notes
#9 John Minagawa-Webster - Sr., Forward - Monroe, Mich. - Ranks second on the team in goals (9) and points (27) ... Tied for the team lead with nine assists ... One of the most dangerous forwards in the conference ... Frequent target on corner kicks ... Scored game winning goals against Dayton and San Diego State ... Has scored just three goals since scoring twice against San Diego State on Sept. 17 ... Had four-point games (1 goal, 2 asssits) vs. Bowling Green and Dayton.
#10 Jordan Gruber - Sr., Forward - Beverly Hills, Mich. - Leads the team in goals (11) and points (30) ... Third on the team with eight assists ... Scored the game winning goal in the Big Ten Championship game against Northwestern... Assisted on the game-winning goal in the Big Ten Tournament semifinals ... Leads the team with six game-winning goals ... Scored the game-winning goal in a 3-2 overtime win at Michigan, while also adding an assist ... Scored two goals in the season opener at Bowling Green ... Recorded two goals and one assist against Valparaiso.
#5 Ryan McMahen - Jr., Midfielder - Munster, Ind. - First-team All-Big Ten ... All Big Ten Tournament Team and Tournament Offensive MVP ... Scored both of MSU's goals in 2-1 win over Indiana in Big Ten Tournament semifinals ... Assisted on MSU's only goal in a 1-0 win over Wisconsin in Big Ten Tournament quarterfinals ... Ranked third on the team in goals (7) and points (23) ... Tied for the team lead with nine assists ... Led MSU with three goals in Big Ten play, ranking fourth in the Big Ten ... Excellent scoring threat on free kicks ... Had three assists against Dayton on Sept. 12. ... Scored the game-winning goal against Northwestern on Oct. 3.
#6 Matt Kreikemeier - So., Midfielder - Chesterfield, Mo. - Tallied three assists... Scored his first career goal in the regular-season finale vs. Valparaiso ... Started all 18 games in the midfield.
#22 Steve Doster - Jr., Midfielder - Frankfort, Ill. - Scored MSU's only goal in a 1-0 win over Wisconsin in the Big Ten Tournament quarterfinals ... Started all 19 games ... Also scored goals this season vs. Western Illinois and Valparaiso.
#16 Ryan Dick - Fr., Midfielder - Rochester Hills, Mich. - Played in all 19 games, starting eight of the last nine ... Was MSU's first reserve off the bench in the first 10 games of the year ... Recorded an assist vs. Valparaiso.
#4 Kellen Kalso - Sr., Defense - Oxford, Mich. - Second-team All-Big Ten ... Started all 19 games this year and all 75 in his career.
#17 Rauwshan McKenzie - Fr., Defense - Hoffman Estates, Ill. - Big Ten All-Freshman Team ... Played in all 19 games, starting 12, including the last 11... Notched his first collegiate point (an assist) in the Big Ten Championship game against Northwestern.
#18 Greg Janicki - So., Defense - New Baltimore, Mich. - Started all 19 games ... Has one assist on the season.
#7 Ryan Gochneaur - Fr., Defense - Medina, Mich. - Appeared in 16 games, starting the last five ... Recorded an assist against Wisconsin in the regular season.
#30 Jason Tillman - So., Goalkeeper - Brighton, Mich. - Played in all 19 games, starting 18 ... GAA of 1.01 ... Has a save percentage of .776 ... Earned All Big Ten Tournament Team and Tournament Defensive MVP honors ... Made six saves against Northwestern (11/14) in the Big Ten Championship game ... Recorded five saves in MSU's 2-1 win over Indiana in Big Ten Tournament semifinals ... Shut-out Wisconsin in Big Ten Tournament quarterfinal, making two saves ... Recorded five shutouts and combined for three more (eight total) ... Made a career-best 12 saves against San Diego on Sept. 19.
#14 John Kaczmarek - Jr., Midfielder - Plymouth, Mich. - Started 11 games in the midfield, but just one of the last eight... Scored his only two goals of the season against Dayton on Sept. 12.
#20 Kenzo Webster - Fr., Forward - Monroe, Mich. - MSU's first forward reserve off the bench ... Scored two goals this season, including MSU's only tally in a 2-1 loss to Wisconsin ... Younger brother of John Minagawa-Webster.
#12 Ben Pirmann - Fr., Midfielder - Lake Orion, Mich. - Played in 15 games as a reserve midfielder ... Has three assists this season.
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