Sept. 26, 2013
EAST LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan State women’s soccer team takes on two more Big Ten opponents in a home weekend slate this Friday and Sunday. The Spartans are 6-1-2 on the season, taking their first loss from Nebraska last week. MSU opens the weekend pitted against Minnesota on Friday, Sept. 27 at 2 p.m. Sunday’s match against Wisconsin at 1 p.m. is also Youth Day and Camper Appreciation Day at DeMartin Stadium.
The Spartans welcome up-and-coming soccer players to DeMartin Stadium this Sunday. Anyone wearing a youth soccer jersey or t-shirt from this past summer’s soccer camps will be granted free admission to the game against Wisconsin.
A Glance at the Gophers
The Spartans begin the weekend on Friday against Minnesota. The Gophers head to East Lansing with a 1-0 loss in their first Big Ten match at Indiana last Saturday. Minnesota is currently 7-2-0 on the season. Minnesota is 2-2 on the road, with two consecutive losses in road games from Florida and Indiana. MSU’s all-time record against Minnesota is tied at 10-10-2.
Freshman goalkeeper Tarah Hobbs has stepped up for the squad, starting the last five consecutive games. She recorded nine saves in the Indiana game bringing her total to 27 on the season. The Gophers are led on offense by Katie Thyken who brings five goals and one assist to East Lansing, totaling 11 points. Josee Stiever follows with seven points from three goals and one assist. Taylor Stainbrook has also posted seven points, coming from two goals and three assists.
Watching Out for Wisconsin
The weekend slate continues with a match against Wisconsin on Sunday. Wisconsin picked up its first Big Ten win at Purdue on Sept. 22, posting a 3-1 victory. The Badgers are currently at 6-1-1 on the season, picking up a lone defeat from Vanderbilt. The team has totaled 24 goals with an average of three per game.
In the net, Genevieve Richard has accumulated 30 saves on the season with 10 goals allowed. She currently owns a .750 Sv% and 1.26 GAA. Two Badgers have accumulated 16 points on the season. Cara Walls owns seven goals and two assists and teammate Kinley McNicoll has posted four goals and eight assists. Freshman Rose Lavelle follows with 14 points from four goals and six assists.
The Notorious B1G
The Spartans look to separate themselves from the pack for a run at the Big Ten Championship this year. The Spartans are No. 6 in goals allowed with 9 and goals against average with .95. MSU is fourth in the conference in saves with 40. The team is tied for eighth with Minnesota for goals (18) and goals per game (2.00).
Courtney Clem is fifth in the conference for her .818 save percentage and 3.86 saves per game. She is also tied for fifth with 27 saves with Minnesota’s Tarah Hobbs. Jessica White is tied for third in the Big Ten with two game winning goals.
The Line on the Lines
A collective effort has been a focus for the team this year, starting back when 28 members of the team participated in an exhibition against Central Michigan and 27 different players seeing action in regular-season play so far. The Spartans have held their opponents to only nine goals, while totaling 18 with 2.00 goals per game.
Courtney Clem returns in goal for 2013. Clem has already accumulated 27 saves and one shutout on the season, owning a .89 GAA and .818 Sv%. Gabrielle Gauruder stepped up in the net to finish a shutout over New Mexico. After three games, she’s totaled thirteen saves and three goals allowed. Lone senior Kelsey Mullen heads up the defense with Nicole Caruso and Mary Kathryn Fiebernitz. Fiebernitz has taken over as the team’s leading scorer with three goals and one assist. The back line looks to remain organized in play and has held their opponents to only nine goals in nine games.
Sophomore Allyson Krause heads up the offense while tied with Mary Kathryn Fiebernitz for seven points. She has totaled two goals and three assists. Jessica White follows in points with three goals and is tied for six points with Erica Goodenough. Goodenough has totaled two goals and two assists so far in the season. Three members of the squad (Caruso, Rachel Van Poppelen and Alexandra Gjonaj) total four points coming from a goal and two assists.
Heading it Up
Tom Saxton returns in 2013 as head coach for the 23rd year. 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. Saxton's current career record stands at 226-179-43. Associate head coach Tammy Farnum returns to Spartan soccer for the 17th year as 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.
Spartan soccer can be followed on the Big Ten Digital Network on Spartan All-Access for Friday’s game, on GameTracker, on the official mobile app of the MSU Spartans or on Twitter @MSU_wsoccer.
Michigan State follows up Wisconsin with a match against Michigan at home on Oct. 3, 2013 at 3 p.m.