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Aug. 27, 1997

MSU Women's Soccer to Face WMU and Notre Dame

Fri.        Aug. 29 WESTERN MICHIGAN    OLD COLLEGE FIELD       4:00 p.m.
Sun.        Aug. 31 at Notre Dame       South Bend, Ind.        1:00 p.m.

THIS WEEK: The Michigan State women's soccer team opens the program's 12th year of intercollegiate competition this Friday when it hosts the Broncos of Western Michigan. Game time is set for 4:00 p.m. at Old College Field on the MSU campus. Friday's game marks the first time that the Spartan booters have opened the season at home since 1993. Following that contest, MSU faces a stern challenge when it plays at 1996 national runner-up and No. 2-ranked (1997 preseason poll) Notre Dame.

THE SERIES -- Friday's bout will mark the first time the teams have met in women's soccer. Western Michigan's program is in its second year of existence as a varsity sport. Notre Dame has won the last seven meetings vs. Michigan State and posts a 7-2 all-time slate against the Spartans. MSU's last win over the Fighting Irish came on Sept. 22, 1989 (3-0 at Notre Dame). Last season, MSU had Notre Dame on the ropes, leading 3-1 early in the second half, before the Fighting Irish roared back to claim a 5-3 win at East Lansing.

THE COACHES: Michigan State is led by seventh-year Head Coach Tom Saxton (Michigan State '83) who brings a school and career mark of 59-50-7 into the 1997 campaign. Western Michigan is directed by second-year mentor Katie O'Shaughnessy (Connecticut College '90) who claims a one-season record of 11-7-1. Notre Dame's Chris Petrucelli is in his seventh season of guiding the fortunes of the Fighting Irish program and took a school and career mark of 131-18-8 into ND's season opener vs. St. John's (Aug. 29). In the last three seasons, Petrucelli has compiled a 68-5-3 record which includes a national championship in 1995. Last year ND hammered out a 24-2 record.

BOUGHEY NAMED MSU CAPTAIN -- Michigan State senior midfielder Heather Boughey has been named captain of the 1997 Spartan squad. Boughey, a native of Pleasanton, Calif., started 19 of 20 games last year and recorded one goal for two points. During her career, she has appeared in 49 contests.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR -- After going through a stressful 1996 season that saw his squad finish at 3-17, Saxton has been pleased thus far with what he has seen in the preseason from this year's squad. A total of 13 letterwinners return from a year ago, including six starters, and those vets hope to team with a talented freshman class in hopes of getting the Spartans back in the winning frame of mind.

MSU figures to be strong on the backline where senior Aimee Cousino (Livonia), junior Kim Shepela (Cupertino, Calif.) and sophomore Melissa Jannetta (Birmingham) all return with starting experience. Saxton, at this time, is leaning towards freshman Sara Kloostermann (Farmington) as the starting goalkeeper with sophomore Mara Lee (Allison Park, PA), a starter in 12 games last year, being hampered by injuries. Offensively, the Spartans will look to sophomores Jessica Moorman (Hudson, OH), the team's leading returning scorer (3-2--8), and Courtney Cleland (Peapack, NJ) to help pick up the slack left by the graduation of standouts Kristin Lester, Leah Hutko and Jen Moore.

SPARTANS CAPTURE WIN IN SCRIMMAGE -- On Sunday, Aug. 24, the Spartans came away with a 2-1 win over Oakland University in a scrimmage held at Old College Field. Courtney Cleland paced the MSU attack with both MSU markers.

Day         Date        Opponent                Time
Fri.        Aug.  29    WESTERN MICHIGAN        4:00 pm
Sun.        Aug.  31    at Notre Dame           1:00 pm
Thur.       Sept. 4     at Brigham Young        7:00 pm
Sat.        Sept. 6     vs. Tulsa (at BYU)      5:00 pm
Fri.        Sept. 12    VALPARAISO              4:00 pm
Sun.        Sept. 14    DETROIT                 1:00 pm
Fri.        Sept. 19    OHIO STATE              4:00 pm
Sun.        Sept. 21    at Indiana              1:30 pm
Fri.        Sept. 26    NORTHWESTERN            4:00 pm
Sun.        Sept. 28    WISCONSIN               1:00 pm
Fri.        Oct.  3     at Penn State           7:00 pm
Sun.        Oct.  5     at Minnesota            1:00 pm
Sun.        Oct. 12     EASTERN MICHIGAN        Noon
Fri.        Oct. 17     IOWA                    3:00 pm
Sun.        Oct. 19     at Illinois             1:00 pm
Fri.        Oct. 24     at Toledo               3:30 pm
Sun.        Oct. 26     at Michigan             2:00 pm
Wed.        Oct. 29     at Bowling Green        3:00 pm
Fri.        Oct. 31     at Cincinnati           7:30 pm
Sun.        Nov. 2      at Wright State         1:00 pm
Fri.-Sun.   Nov. 7-9    Big Ten Tournament      TBA
                (at Minneapolis)

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