Michigan State is off to a 4-1 start on the season, getting back onto the winning side of the ledger on Sunday with a 2-1 victory over Akron. The Spartans started the season 3-0 before a 1-0 setback to Cal State-Fullerton.
: : : : Annie Steinlage, who had the game-winning goal and an assist in the win over the Zips, is the reigning Big Ten Defensive Player of the week, and sits atop the team's scoring chart with two goals and two assists on the season. Senior Olivia Stander owns a 1-4-6 scoring line, while three Spartans have five points each: Sophomores Megan Marsack (2-1-5) and Lisa Vogel (1-3-5), and senior Jordan Mueller (1-3-5). Courtney Clem has played every minute for MSU at keeper, and owns a 0.80 GAA and .789 save percentage.
Oakland was tabbed as the favorite in The Summit League Preseason Coaches Poll for the 11th time in school history, just edging South Dakota State. Oakland is currently 2-1-1 on the season, with a 3-2 win over Detroit in its last outing.
: : : : Kyla Kellermann owned four goals and an assist (nine points) to lead the Oakland scoring attack, followed by Marlen Knoph (2-2-6). Meghan Reynolds is the Summit League Player of the Week after two goals (including the OT game-winner) against the Titans. Reynolds has a 2-1-5 scoring line. Nick O'Shea is in his 20th season as the head coach of the Oakland women's soccer program, which includes a Summit League title and NCAA Tournament bid in 2011.
MSU leads the all-time series with the Golden Grizzlies by a 10-2-0 margin, which includes a 1-0 victory last year in East Lansing in which goalkeeper (and current volunteer assistant coach) Jill Flietstra tied the MSU school record for career shutouts (she graduated with the record of 29). Olivia Stander had the lone goal of the match for the Spartans.
Tom Saxton is in his 22nd season as the head coach of the Spartan women's soccer program. A life-long Spartan, Saxton earned three letters as a player before returning to campus in 1989 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 21 seasons, Saxton's career record stands at 213-169-39.
: : : : Tammy (Anderson) Farnum was a standout defender at MSU (1989-92) and is now in her 16th season on the staff. Stacy Heller was a standout keeper for MSU (2000-03) and was a two-time All-Big Ten pick. Jill Flietstragraduated in 2012 and joins the staff in her first post-graduate coaching position.
Megan Marsack, who had a goal and an assist in her freshman season, has already surpassed her freshman year total in both goals (2) and points (4). Lisa Vogel did not have any points as a freshman, but had a goal and two assists vs. BG. Annie Steinlage scored her first collegiate tally against Fordham, while Chelsea Peterson recorded her first college score in the win over Loyola.
Six of MSU's eight non-conference games will be played at DeMartin Stadium, the home of Michigan State soccer. This is MSU's final non-Big Ten game away from home - the other was the season opener at Bowling Green.
Michigan State will next play Eastern Michigan at home on Sunday at 12 noon. The youth team Ann Arbor United, coached by former Spartan soccer player Sarah Stern, will be the special guests of the team and participate in the pre-game walkout.