Aug 21, 2013
EAST LANSING, Mich. - As Michigan State women's soccer head coach Tom Saxton heads into his 23rd year at the helm, watch Saxton and players Courtney Clem, Nicole Caruso and Kelsey Mullen preview the 2013 Spartans as they look to unify the team with sights on the Big Ten Tournament.
WATCH: 2013 Women's Soccer Preview
Last year's team finished 8-9-2 overall, with a Big Ten record of 2-8-1. The team recorded three shutouts last year with keeper Courtney Clem in goal. Although still young, the Spartans have 20 returning squad members, including seven starters.
During the team's preseason, 28 members of the team had the opportunity to play in an exhibition against Central Michigan, playing in three 30-minute periods. The result was a 1-0 loss, but getting all of the players in a collegiate match was Saxton's intent.
"That was a positive because we have half our roster that's never stepped foot in a Division I game," said Saxton. "So to get them out there, get them a taste of the pace of play and the physicality, that was a positive. They adjusted and grew as the game went along."
Listed as a top-20 player in the Big Ten by TopDrawerSoccer.com, Allyson Krause heads up the offense as she returns as the team's leading scorer. Clem returns in goal, making the Madness Big Ten Preseason All-Conference Second Team along with lone senior Kelsey Mullen.
"Coming off our spring training, we had a bunch of leaders and we had the whole team step up," said Mullen. "It's really nice having a bunch of people behind me and not just being the sole leader. I like having the whole team with me."
The Spartans begin the 2013 season against Buffalo on Friday, Aug. 23 at 5 p.m.