Michigan State travels to take on Illinois in a midweek tilt on Thursday. The game will be featured on Big Ten Network at 7 p.m.
This is the Spartans third game featured on Big Ten Network in as many weeks.
Michigan State is 8-3-2 on the year and 2-2-1 in Big Ten play while Illinois enters Thursday's game with a 6-4-2 record and is 3-1-1 in conference play.
Michigan State is coming off a pair of weekend home games where they defeated Nebraska 2-1 on Friday and played to a scoreless draw against Iowa on Sunday.
Annie Steinlage assisted both of the Spartan goals against the Cornhuskers, the first on Allyson Krause's in the first half, followed by the game winner on Olivia Stander's score in the 86th minute. The Spartans dominated for much of Sunday's game against Iowa, but couldn't find the scoring touch despite outshooting the Hawkeyes 17-7 on the day and holding them to just two shots after halftime. Courtney Clem made two saves and recorded her fifth shutout of the season against Iowa.
Illinois currently sits third in the Big Ten standings with a 3-1-1 record in conference play.
The Fighting Illini's leading scorer is Nicole Breece, who has six points on two goals and two assists. Kassidy Brown (1 goal, 2 assists), Taylore Peterson (2 goals, 0 assists) and Nicole Denenberg (2 goals, 0 assists) all have four points on the season. Megan Pawloski leads the team in assists with three.
Steph Panozzo is the likely keeper for the Illini. She owns a 1.04 GAA, .783 save percentage, and her 47 saves ranks third in the Big Ten.
The Spartans a 3-14-2 all-time against Illinois. Last year, Michigan State twice fell in double overtime to Illinois by 1-0 scores - in the regular season, and also in the Big Ten Tournament. Illinois has won five straight games in the series.
Olivia Stander is tied for fourth the Big Ten in assists with six, and has a team-best 14 points on the year.
Stander continues to climb up the MSU career scoring record books, as she now sits tied for ninth all-time in both points in a career at Michigan State (71 points) and career assists (19). She is also 10th all-time in goals with 26, and her game-winning goal on Friday marked the fifth of her career, which ties her for fifth all-time.
MSU goalkeeper Courtney Clem has been a solid, consistent factor for the Spartans in the net this season. 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 GAA (0.59) and her .843 save percentage ranks sixth. Clem has recorded 43 saves and five shutouts on the season.
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 third week in a row, and will complete a three-week run tonight when its game at Illinois airs live.
Michigan State next travels to Ann Arbor to take on Michigan on Wednesday, October 10th. Kickoff time is at 7 p.m. The Spartans next home game is Sunday, October 14th when they take on Indiana.