EAST LANSING - The Michigan State women's soccer team will get an early preseason test on Friday when it takes on 2013 NCAA Final Four-participant Virginia in an exhibition match at 1 p.m. The game will take place at Myles Kimmerly County Park, 1397 W. Burdickville Rd., in Maple City, Michigan.
The Spartans reported to training camp last week, and so far 24th-year head coach Tom Saxton has liked his team's development over the short span.
"Our focus has been getting our defensive organization down and understanding roles and responsibilities on restarts. So that will be our tactical objective on Friday," said Saxton. "We've put some classroom time in and have done a lot of work out on the practice field. Our team defensive organization is making big progress and a lot of that is due to the retention from the spring season by our veterans."
Virginia went 24-1-1 on its way to the NCAA Women's College Cup semifinals a season ago.
"Virginia will be a tremendous test for us - they're one of the top teams in the country," said Saxton. "It will certainly help us develop."
The Spartans return 26 letterwinners from last season's squad that went 9-8-2. Junior Allyson Krause led the team with 14 points (5 goals, 4 assists), while junior defender Mary Kathryn Fiebernitz posted a team-high six goals.
After Friday's exhibition match, the Spartans will return to East Lansing for a week of practice prior to the regular-season opener on Aug. 22 at San Diego State.