Michigan State women’s soccer is slated to play two games this weekend, one on the road and one at home. The Spartans will travel to Bowling Green, Ohio to play Bowling Green on Friday, Sept. 1 at 7 p.m. MSU returns home on Sunday, Sept. 3 for a tilt with Oakland at 1 p.m. at DeMartin Stadium.
LAST TIME OUT
The Spartans earned their first road win on Sunday, Aug. 27 at Samford, 3-2. A late second-half goal from senior forward Jamie Cheslik lifted MSU past the Bulldogs. In its last home match, Michigan State hosted the first-ever night game at DeMartin Stadium. The squad fell to Butler, 1-0.
Michigan State is currently 2-2-0 in non-conference play. Big Ten matches begin on Sept. 14.
SCOUTING THE FALCONS
Bowling Green has earned a record of 2-1-0 in non-conference play. The Falcons welcome the Spartans for their first home match of the season. Their last time out, Bowling Green suffered their first loss of the season to Butler, 2-0.
Senior forward Skylar Fleak leads the team in points with eight, accounting for four of the team’s seven goals so far. Redshirt junior midfielder Erica Hubert, senior defender Rachel Winters and junior defender Alexis Fricke netted the team’s other three goals.
Redshirt freshman goalkeeper Victoria Cope has started in all three games for the Falcons, earning a 1.00 GAA. Cope shutout Morehead State (Aug. 25) and held Oakland to one goal (Aug. 18).
MSU is 16-1-2 in career meetings with Bowling Green, and 8-1-0 as the visiting team. The teams last met in 2013, when the Spartans defeated the Falcons, 3-1, at home.
SCOUTING THE GOLDEN GRIZZLIES
Oakland started off the season with a 0-4-0 record. The Golden Grizzlies’ last time out was an overtime loss to Central Michigan, 3-2.
Senior forward Cecile Dokka leads the team with two goals, totaling four points.
Redshirt freshman goalkeeper Nadine Maher and sophomore goalkeeper Sophia Braun have split time in net for the Golden Grizzlies. Maher leads the team with 6 saves and 3.00 goals against average.
Michigan State has amassed a record of 11-2-3 against Oakland. The Green and White are 6-0-1 at home against the Golden Grizzlies.
THE COACHING STAFF
Head coach Tom Saxton enters his 27th season at the helm of the program. He has amassed an overall record of 256-213-50 for a winning percentage of 0.541.
Associate head coach, Tammy Farnum enters her 21st season with the program. Farnum was a four year letter-winner for the Spartans from 1989-92.
Assistant coach, Stacy DeLonge begins her 15th season. DeLonge was a standout in goal for the Spartans from 2000-03. She posted a school-record 34 wins and ranks second with 22 career shutouts.
Senior forwards Jamie Cheslik and Kristelle Yewah along with senior midfielder Morgan McKerchie and junior midfielder Michaela Kovacs captain the 2017-18 Michigan State women’s soccer team.
Cheslik, McKerchie and Kovacs started in all 18 games for the Spartans last season. Cheslik and Kovacs were also named to the Big Ten Players to Watch List in preseason. McKerchie earned three points and took 14 cornerkicks for MSU, while Yewah collected 18 shots in 13 games.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Cheslik, Kovacs and junior Lexy Warner were named to the 2017 Big Ten Women’s Soccer Players to Watch List.
Cheslik led the team with 14 points on five goals and four assists. Kovacs spent 1,680 minutes on the field at defense, the second-most of any Spartan, and was credited with 13 shots. Warner tallied five points on two goals and one assist, the fourth highest on the team.
Freshman midfielder Danielle Stephan earned two assists against Samford (Aug. 27), marking her first multiple-point game. Stephan has started in all four games for the Spartans and played 324 minutes, the fourth highest on the team.
Midfielder Bella Jodzis, forward Alexandra Thomas and defender Athena Biondi have also contributed minutes in their first season for the Green and White.
MICHIGAN STATE NOTES
Throughout the 2017 campaign, Michigan State will play against eight different schools who were in the 2016 NCAA Tournament. Seven of those eight schools hail from the Big Ten, including Penn State who was tabbed to finish first in the conference.
MSU returned nine starting players from last season: Cheslik, Kovacs, Warner, Yewah, McKerchie, Jones, Duncan, VanDyke and Misiewicz.
Redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Reilley Ott started in four matches for the Spartans, earning a shutout against Niagara and making 20 saves overall. Ott claimed a season-high 10 saves against Samford (Aug. 27), and owns a 1.75 goals against average.
THE BIG TEN SO FAR
Nebraska, Penn State and Rutgers top the Big Ten with undefeated play in the first two weeks of the 2017-18 soccer season. Nebraska sits in first with a 4-0-0 record, while Penn State and Rutgers are both 3-0-0.
Michigan State will host Wake Forest on Thursday, Sept. 7 at 7 p.m., marking the first-ever meeting between the Spartans and the Demon Deacons.
MSU will then open conference play the following week on Thursday, Sept 14 at 7 p.m. against Indiana at DeMartin Stadium.