Aug 22, 2013
EAST LANSING, Mich. - Michigan State will open the 2013 season with a pair of games over the weekend in East Lansing. On Friday, the Spartans will face off with the Bulls from the University at Buffalo at 5 p.m. The opening weekend continues on Sunday, when MSU will play Milwaukee at 1 p.m. in DeMartin Stadium.
Taking SidesMichigan State returns 20 members of the 2012 squad this year, including seven starters. 28 members of the team participated in an exhibition against Central Michigan last weekend, playing in three 30-minute periods. Courtney Clem returns in goal for 2013. Last year, she recorded three shutouts and is currently listed in the Madness Big Ten Preseason All-Conference Second Team along with lone senior Kelsey Mullen, who was a contributor to a 2012 defense that gave up one goal or fewer in 14 games. Assisting the defense, the Spartans also return Nicole Caruso and Mary Kathryn Fiebernitz. 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. Michigan State was 3-1 in 2012 when Krause scored a goal. Megan Marsack and Paige Wester also return as leading scorers for the Spartans. Marsack is also a key midfielder, assisted by returning sophomore Sarah Kovan and junior Lisa Vogel.
Heading it UpTom Saxton returns in 2013 as women's soccer head coach for the 23rd year in. A life-long Spartan, Saxton has spent more than half of his life involved with MSU soccer, earning 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 22 seasons, Saxton's career record stands at 221-178-41. Associate head coach Tammy Farnum returns to Spartan soccer for the 17th year, another former player who helped guide the Spartans to their first NCAA appearance in school history in 2002 and was instrumental in helping MSU get back to the tournament in 2005 and 2008. Rounding out the coaching staff are assistant coach Stacy Heller, working with the Spartan goalkeepers, and first-year volunteer coach and former player Laura Heyboer.
Bull-et PointsThe Spartans' first game in regular season play is Friday, Aug. 23 at 5:00 p.m., where the team will open at home against Buffalo. The teams last faced off in 1993 with a 3-1 victory over the Bulls. This will be the fourth meeting between the teams in school history. Buffalo went 5-12-2 last season and has played in two exhibition games so far, earning wins over Cleveland State and Canisius. Buffalo returns several of their key players this year, including lead-returning scorer Katie Roberts, midfielder Courtney Mann, and Courtney Gross in the back line. Returning in goal for the Bulls is senior Ainsley Wheldon, a school record-breaker in nearly every category.
Meeting MilwaukeeThe opening weekend in East Lansing will continue on Sunday, Aug. 25 at 1:00 p.m. against Milwaukee. The Spartans last met Milwaukee in an exhibition in 2012 with a 1-0 win and in regular play back in 2011. The Panthers start the weekend pitted against Michigan in Ann Arbor before heading to East Lansing. Milwaukee returns 14 letterwinners, including seven starters. Forwards Krissy Dorre and Kelly Lewers return as leading scorers. Dorre led the Horizon League in goals with sevens, while Lewers led the league in assists with six. Also returning are starters Kelsey Horbert and Amy Kauffung, both recognized as All-Horizon League Team selections with Dorre and Lewers.
Stay TunedSpartan soccer can be followed live online with GameTracker on MSUSpartans.com, also available on the official mobile app of the MSU Spartans, or on Twitter @MSU_wsoccer. The 2013 season will continue on Aug. 30 at 5:00 p.m. when the Spartans face off with San Diego State in East Lansing.