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The Michigan State women's soccer team wrapped up the regular season on Friday afternoon with a senior day tribute for lone senior Kelsey Mullen.
The comeback fell short for the Michigan State women's soccer team on Thursday, as the Spartan fell to No. 21 Michigan, 2-1 at DeMartin Stadium.
The MSU women's soccer team shut down Minnesota on Friday afternoon when MSU beat the Gophers 3-0.
MSU Women's Soccer home opener, a 2-1 victory over Fordham.
Entering his 24th season as head coach of the Michigan State women's soccer program, Tom Saxton has spent more than half of his life involved in Spartan soccer.
A life-long Spartan, Saxton earned three letters as a player before returning to campus in 1986 to assist legendary Spartan soccer coach Joe Baum with both the men's and the new women's program. Saxton was appointed the second head coach in the history of the women's program on June 1, 1991. In 23 seasons, Saxton's career record stands at 230-186-43.
The Spartans have posted winning seasons in five of the past six years and in 11 of the last 14.
Saxton's 2008-11 teams boasted perhaps the finest player in Michigan State history, three-time All-American Laura Heyboer. She completed her career as the most decorated player in program history, and one of the most prolific scorers in the Big Ten - she graduated with every MSU scoring record, is one of a handful of players to earn First Team All-Big Ten honors all four years of her career, and ranks fifth all-time in the Big Ten scoring list. Heyboer has gone on to a professional career, originally drafted by Sky Blue FC, and won a WPSL-Elite Championship with the Western New York Flash in 2012.
Heyboer and the 2011 team finished 14-6-1 on the season, and won a program-best seven Big Ten games on the year. In all, 21 players earned Academic All-Big Ten honors, while a school-record eight earned Big Ten Distinguished Scholar kudos for maintaining a 3.7 GPA in the 2011-12 school year. Three earned All-Big Ten distinction (Heyboer, Annie Steinlage, and Jordan Mueller),
Under Saxton's guidance, the Spartans have received 250 Academic All-Big Ten honors since women's soccer was incorporated into the Big Ten in 1994.
Spartan players have collected a total of 39 All-Big Ten honors, including MSU's first Conference Player of the Year, Karen Winslow in 1994, and 2008 Offensive Player of the Year, Heyboer.
Heyboer joined Lauren Hill and Cara Freeman as repeat All-Big Ten honorees in 2009. Heyboer also repeated as an NSCAA All-America selection, earning third-team honors despite missing the final five games of the season with injury.
2008 saw Saxton lead MSU to one of its most successful seasons as the Spartans collected 14 wins - tying his career-high victory mark. Saxton also directed last season's squad to the NCAA Tournament for the third time since 2002, where the Spartans advanced to the second round. In 2009, the Spartans went 11-5-4 and posted a 4-4-2 record in Big ten Conference games, and returned to the NCAA Tournament for the second straight season, losing an overtime heartbreaker to No. 11 Santa Clara.
Saxton has helped the team transition seamlessly into the fabric of one of the toughest conferences in the NCAA, helping the Spartans to four NCAA Tournament appearances and 12 Big Ten Tournament trips.
A two-time Big Ten Conference Coach of the Year, Saxton, earned his 150th victory in the opening-round of the 2006 NCAA Tournament. It was MSU's first-ever NCAA Tournament win. Saxton's Spartans posted a 12-6-5 record in 2005, their sixth-straight season with double-digit wins, including a 6-2-2 mark in conference action, the team's best-ever Big Ten mark. He attained his 200th victory against DePaul in the 2011 opener.
Saxton led Michigan State to its first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance in 2002, guiding the Green and White to a 12-7-2 overall record, including a 5-3-2 mark in the Big Ten. Thanks to their fourth-place finish in the tough Big Ten, the Spartans earned an at-large bid to the tournament.
In 2000, Saxton coached MSU to a six-game improvement; the Spartans finished the season 12-6-2 and Saxton was named the Big Ten's Coach of the Year.
Saxton also won the Big Ten Coach of the Year Award in 1994, the conference's first season. That year, the Spartans finished with an overall mark of 12-5-2 and a 5-1-1 league record to take home the soccer program's only Big Ten Championship.
In all, Saxton has coached all 10 of the career leaders in goals and assists at Michigan State, serving as head coach during seven of 10 of their careers. He also was a tutor for all five of the top goalkeepers in school history, serving as head coach during four of their careers.
Prior to his arrival at Michigan State, Saxton was the head men's soccer coach at Delta College for three seasons. Following the 1984 campaign he was recognized as the National Junior College Athletic Association's Region XII Coach of the Year.
Saxton also served two seasons as the head coach of the Flint Central High School girls' soccer team. He also directed the Flint Community School's Soccer League for four years. In addition, Saxton was a staff coach for Michigan Olympic Development State and Regional teams.
Saxton enjoyed success during his playing career at Michigan State under Baum, earning three letters (1980-82). During his career, Saxton led the team to a 33-16-2 overall record.
He graduated from MSU in 1983 with a bachelor's degree in social science. In 1991, he returned to earn a master's degree in physcial education and exercise science.
A member of the 1993 NCAA Tournament Selection Committee, Saxton owns a national USSF License. Saxton and his wife, Sue, have three sons: Noel, Nicholas, and Kellen.