Heyboer, Spartans Down Huskers, 1-0
Laura Heyboer scored the only goal of the game in the 25th minute to give Michigan State a 1-0 victory at Nebraska. Classmate Jill Flietstra made six saves to post her sixth shutout of the season. The victory pushes MSU's record to 10-2-0, 3-1-0 in the Big Ten Conference. The game featured the two top scorers in the nation, Heyboer and Nebraska's Morgan Marlborough.
Flietstra's Heroics in PK's Advances Spartans
After battling through 110 minutes of scoreless soccer, Michigan State senior goalie Jill Flietstra made two saves on penalty kicks to advance the Spartans into the semifinals of the 2011 Big Ten Tournament on Friday. MSU was a perfect 4-for-4 on its first kicks, and the senior keeper was the game's shining star as the team advanced in the Tournament.
Sunday's game against Iowa is part of a women's/men's double header. The women will play first followed by the Men's game vs. defending Big Ten Champion Northwestern. Both games will air live on the Big Ten Network.
Michigan State is 7-3-1 on the season entering the weekend, and is coming off back to back 1-0 road losses in Big Ten play, at Minnesota and Wisconsin.
No. 14 Wisconsin beat the Spartans 1-0 on Friday on a goal in the 27th minute from McKenna Meuer. In Sunday's game, Minnesota took the early lead with a goal in the ninth minute and never gave it back. Looking for the equalizer with just seconds remaining in regulation, Paige Wester sent a pass into the box for Megan Marsack who had a good look, but her shot was blocked by a Minnesota defender and eventually cleared as time expired.
Nebraska enters Friday's contest with a 5-5-1 record and are 2-1 in Big Ten play. Mayme Conroy leads the Huskers with six goals, tied for the seventh most in the Big Ten. Caroline Gray leads the team in assists with three followed by Stacy Bartels and Jaylyn Odermann who have two each. Emma Stevens will be the likely goalkeeper for the Huskers, owning a 1.14 GAA and .744 save percentage.
Michigan State won its only game it has ever played against Nebraska, winning 1-0 in last year's first-ever game between the two teams.
Iowa enters the weekend 11-1-0. They travel to Michigan before coming to East Lansing for Sunday's game. Iowa's high-powered offense is led by Cloe Lacasse who is tied for first in the Big Ten in goals scored with 11, and Ashley Catrell is tied for fifth with seven goals. Lacasse is also tied for second in the league in assists with six.
Goalkeepers Hannah Clark and Meg Goodson have split time this season in net. Clark holds a 0.51 GAA and .885 save percentage, good for second best in the Big Ten in both categories. Goodson owns a 0.80 GAA and .879 save percentage.
MSU is 8-4-4 all-time against the Hawkeyes, playing to a 0-0 tie last season. Michigan State is 5-1-2 in home games against Iowa.
Olivia Stander ranks second in the Big Ten in assists with six, and has a team-best 12 points on the year. Stander continues to climb up the MSU career scoring record books, as she now sits tied for ninth all-time for points in a career at Michigan State (70 points), ranks eighth in career assists (20) and is tied for 11th in career goals (25).
MSU goalkeeper Courtney Clem has been a consistent factor in the net so far. A redshirt sophomore, Clem saw spot time last season behind multiple-MSU record holder (and current volunteer assistant coach) Jill Flietstra. Clem ranks fourth in the league in both GAA (0.62) and save percentage (.837) to go along with her 36 saves and four shutouts on the season.
Two Spartans will not appear in another game this season due to injury - senior centerback Kelsey Kassab and freshman Jessica White.
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.
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 Flietstra graduated in 2012 and joins the staff in her first post-graduate coaching position.
All twelve of the Big Ten's women's soccer teams came through the non-conference portion of their schedules with a .500 record or better.
Two Big Ten women's soccer teams appear in the latest NSCAA/Continental Tire rankings, announced on Tuesday, Sept. 25. Penn State (8-2-0) jumps three spots to No. 8, while Michigan (9-2-0) claims No. 22. Also receiving votes were Wisconsin (7-3-0), Ohio State (7-3-0) and Iowa (11-1-0).
MSU appears on the Big Ten Network for the second weekend in a row, and will complete a three-week run when its game at Illinois next Saturday evening airs live.
After this weekend, MSU has just two stand-alone games remaining here at DeMartin Stadium - Sunday, Oct. 14 vs. Indiana, and Sunday, Oct. 27 vs. Northwestern. The game against the Wildcats will serve as the program's senior day.