Nov. 10, 1997
Spartans Season One of Improvement
SPARTANS WIND UP SEASON:
The Michigan State women's soccer team closed out the 1997 season last weekend, dropping a 2-0 decision to No. 10-ranked Minnesota in the opening round of the Big Ten Soccer Championship. The setback closed out MSU's final record at 9-10-1.
HEAD COACH: Tom Saxton (68-60-8/completed 7th Year)
SPARTANS WHO GO THE DISTANCE:
Five MSU booters started all 20 games in 1997: seniors Heather Boughey (Pleasanton, Calif.) and Aimee Cousino (Livonia), junior Beth Merkle (Mission Viejo, Calif.), and sophomores Laura Monticello (Troy) and Melissa Jannetta (Birmingham).
COUSINO EARNS ALL-BIG TEN RECOGNITION:
Senior defender Aimee Cousino was the lone MSU player to garner conference postseason accolades, landing a second-team berth to the All-Big Ten Team. Cousino was the anchor of an MSU backfield that steadily improved throughout the course of the year. Career-wise, she played in a total of 74 contests and registered six points on one goal and four assists.
SPARTAN RETURNEES BODE WELL FOR THE FUTURE:
In looking at next season, MSU returns 30 of the 32 goals (.937) that were scored this season. Freshman Gina Dawson, who led the squad in both goals (7) and points (18) will be back as will Laura Monticello and sophomore Jessica Moorman (Hudson, OH), who each notched six goals and who finished with 17 and 15 points, respectively. All totaled, MSU returns five of its top six and 12 of the top 13 points producers from '97.
SPARTANS BATTLE BACK:
After suffering through a 3-17 season in 1996, this year's squad recorded three times as many victories with the nine triumphs marking the program's best showing since 1994 (12 wins). While last year's squad surrendered 48 goals, the '97 unit gave up 40 opponent markers and scored 32 goals vs. the 1996 total of 24.