Spartan Soccer Travels to Indiana for a Elite Eight Battle
Seventh-seeded MSU will take on second-seeded Indiana for the second time this season.
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EAST LANSING, Mich. - Seventh-seeded Michigan State men’s soccer (13-3-3, 5-0-3 B1G) will hit the road after a pair of NCAA Tournament wins against Virginia Tech and 10th-seeded Western Michigan. The Spartans will travel to second-seeded Indiana (17-0-5, 5-0-3 B1G) on Friday, Dec. 1 at 7 p.m. at Jerry Yeagley Field. The Hoosiers defeated New Hampshire, 2-1 in the third round on Nov. 25 to reach the Elite Eight. This is MSU’s first appearance in the Elite Eight since 2014.
MSU hosted a pair of NCAA games with wins over the Hokies and the Broncos, respectively. This was the second-straight season that the Spartans hosted an NCAA Tournament game. Last season in the first round, SIU Edwardsville advanced 9-8 on penalty kicks. The teams battled to a 1-1 tie in double overtime, before the Cougars edged the Spartans in the penalty kick round.
The last time that the Spartans were a seeded team playing at home was 2014 when MSU reached the Elite Eight. That season, MSU was the overall No. 3 seed.
ELITE EIGHT APPEARANCES
This is the third Elite Eight appearance for the Spartans in the last five years, Michigan State earned back-to-back appearance in the Elite Eight in both 2013 and 2014. Overall, the Spartans are making their eighth appearance in the Elite Eight, reaching this point during the 1962, 1964, 1965, 1967, 1968, 2013, 2014 and 2017 seasons.
AND THEN THERE WERE TWO
There are only two Big Ten teams remaining in the NCAA Tournament in Michigan State and Indiana. Either the Spartans or the Hoosiers will advance to the College Cup in Philadelphia, Dec. 8-10. MSU is looking for its first appearance in the Final Four since 1968.
LOOKING BACK TO 2014
The Spartans last appearance in the Elite Eight was in 2014, when MSU took on Providence in East Lansing. Despite snagging an early lead by scoring on the first shot of the match, the Spartans fell to the Friars 3-2 with goals from Adam Montague and Zach Carroll. The Spartans exited the tournament as one of only two teams in the nation to make back-to-back Elite Eight appearances and as the only Big Ten team remaining.
MSU’s five B1G wins ties a school record for most conference wins, matching the 2008 squad. The Spartans 5-0-3 record is the first time that Michigan State has got unbeaten in Big Ten action, finishing with a 5-0-3 record.
SCOUTING REPORT: INDIANA
The No. 2-seeded Hoosiers bring a 17-0-5 record into Friday’s Elite Eight match with their Big Ten Conference foe Spartans. Indiana reached the Elite Eight with wins over Old Dominion (3-0) in the second round and New Hampshire (2-1) in the third round after a first-round bye. IU fell the Big Ten Tournament championship game with a shootout loss to Wisconsin, 4-2 on penalty kicks after playing to a 0-0 draw.
Indiana’s success this season is due in part to the amazing play of freshman goalkeeper Trey Muse, who leads the NCAA with 17 shutouts and has allowed only five goals all season for a GAA of 0.21, making 53 saves. The Indiana offense is equally strong, as freshman forward Mason Toye is tied for first in the Big Ten with 10 goals, adding two assists, for a total of 22 points, which ranks third in the B1G.
Overall, Indiana leads the overall series 39-16-5 after playing to a 1-1 draw in the regular-season finale on Oct. 29 at DeMartin Stadium at East Lansing, as the teams ended tied for second in the B1G.
LAST TIME MSU VS. IU - SPARTANS 1, HOOSIERS 1 - OCT. 29, 2017
In the regular-season meeting, the Hoosiers struck first in the 25th minute when Mason Toye drew a foul inside the penalty box. Trevor Schwartz converted the penalty kick, giving IU the 1-0 lead. Indiana would take the lead into halftime. The Spartans started the second half aggressively taking control of possession early on. Michigan State tied the score in the 61st minute, capitalizing on its own penalty kick. After senior midfielder Ken Krolicki was taken down in the box, junior forward Ryan Sierakowski snuck the PK past IU goalkeeper Trey Muse, which was just the fourth goal that Muse had allowed all season.
Michigan State was happy to welcome back junior defender Connor Corrigan, who missed three games after getting injured in the Spartans win over Penn State on Oct. 14. Corrigan returned against Virginia Tech. The junior started and played 75 minutes against the Hokies, taking three corner kicks. Corrigan played all 90 minutes against WMU on Nov. 25.
MAKING YOUR MARK
Michigan State redshirt-junior goalkeeper Jimmy Hague has made quite an impact in his two season’s starting in net. Hague has a 0.72 goals against average during his career, which places him third all-time in MSU history behind Kevin O’Connell (0.47, 1966) and Hall of Famer Joe Baum (0.68, 1967-68). Hague is sixth in shutouts with 17. Zach Bennett (2012-15) is the all-time leader in shutouts at MSU with 35.
MSU head coach Damon Rensing reached a coaching milestone. With the win against Penn State on Oct. 14, the Spartan leader reached 100 career wins. Overall, he is now 103-61-25 at MSU.
Due in part to the amazing student section known as the Red Cedar Rowdies, Michigan State is an impressive 16-1-4 in its last 21 games at DeMartin Stadium. Last season, MSU set a school-record with most wins at home going 9-0-2. In 2017, the Spartans were 5-0-2 at home during the regular season. Michigan State suffered its first loss at home in the Big Ten Tournament against Ohio State on Nov. 5. Prior to the OSU loss, the Spartans last loss at DeMartin was against Indiana on Nov. 4, 2015.
CENTALA AND FISCUS EARN ACADEMIC HONORS
Michigan State men’s soccer players Jimmy Fiscus and Brad Centala were named first-team Academic All-District Team. Both were recognized as a part of NCAA Division I District 5 by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).
This is the second-straight season that MSU has had a pair of players on the first-team all-district list. Last season, Centala and Andrew Herr were both honored. Both players went on to earn CoSIDA Academic All-American honors in 2016.
Fiscus, a native of Novi, Michigan, has earned a 3.85 GPA in supply chain management. This is the first Academic All-District honor for the senior defender. The senior is a two-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree.
Centala, a native of Grosse Pointe Woods, Michigan, earned his second-straight All-District honor with a 3.86 in kinesiology. He was also named to the first-team in 2016. Centala earned Academic All-Big Ten honors the last two seasons.
CLIMBING THE CHARTS
Junior forward Ryan Sierakowski and fellow junior forward DeJuan Jones are now tied in scoring with 19 points. Sierakowski has eight goals and three assists for 19 points. Jones has seven goals and five assists for 19 points. Sierakowski has scored at least 17 points in all three seasons in the Green and White, scoring 23 points last season.
Joe Baum: HALL OF FAMER
Former MSU soccer head coach and player Joe Baum was inducted into the MSU Hall of Fame on Thursday, Sept. 29. Baum was a part of Michigan State soccer as a player, assistant coach and head coach for a combined 39 seasons. As a goalkeeper, he led MSU to back-to-back co-national championships. Later, he served as the head coach of the men’s program for 32 years and the women’s program for five years, compiling a combined 389 victories. Baum established himself as one of the titans of college soccer during his tenure with the Spartan men’s team. He finished his career with 320 victories, becoming just the second coach in Big Ten history to reach the 300-win plateau.
FANS IN THE STANDS
The Spartans are 14th in the nation in attendance, averaging 1,810 fans per home game. Three Big Ten teams are ranked in the top 12 in the nation with Maryland standing No. 2 (3,230), while Indiana is ninth (2,172).
For the second-time this season, Michigan State topped its DeMartin Stadium attendance record when 4,678 fans packed the stadium and a standing room only crowd watched No. 6 MSU battle to a 0-0 double overtime tie against No. 3 Maryland on Sept. 22. In the first night game of the season on Sept. 1, 3,515 fans filled DeMartin. The previous high was 3,175 last season when MSU defeated Michigan on Sept. 18, 2016.
In 19 games this season, the Spartans are 10-2 in games decided by one goal. Michigan State has won seven 1-0 games and defeated Rutgers, 2-1 on Sept. 8. Last season, the Spartans were an exceptional 10-3 in one-goal games, including four wins in 1-0 decisions. Last time out, Michigan State defeated Western Michigan, 2-1.
SENIOR CLASS AWARD
Senior defender Jimmy Fiscus was one of 60 NCAA® men’s and women’s soccer student-athletes who excel both on and off the field were selected as candidates for the 2017 Senior CLASS Award® in collegiate soccer. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence: community, classroom, character and competition.
OH CAPTAIN MY CAPTAIN
This season, the Spartans have three captains in senior Jimmy Fiscus, Brad Centala and Ryan Scott.
Sophomore Giuseppe Barone became the fourth member of the Barone family to don the Green and White last season. He joins current Spartan Hunter as well as former MSU players Mark (2008-11) Domenic (2008-12).