Spartans Travel For Final Big Ten Two-Game Set
MSU looks to snap winless streak in tough road swing
Oct. 18, 2012
Michigan State has a pair of weekend road games, playing at No. 4 Penn State on Friday before heading to Columbus to take on Ohio State on Sunday. Friday's contest will be at 7 p.m. and kickoff on Sunday is at 1 p.m.
Michigan State is 8-6-2 on the year and 2-5-1 in Big Ten play. The Spartans are winless in their last four games, and with just three games remaining, sit in 10th place in the Big Ten standings.
Friday opponent Penn State is 14-2-0 and ranked fourth in the nation. Their 8-0 record in conference play puts them atop the Big Ten standings. The Nittany Lions enter Friday's contest on a nine-game winning streak and the Spartans are 4-16-0 all-time against Penn State.
Penn State is led by Christine Nairn and Maya Hayes, who rank fourth in the Big Ten with 11 goals each. Nairn ranks 14th in the nation in points scored (30) and is third in the Big Ten in assists (8). Raquel Rodriguez is second on the team in assists with 7.
Erin McNulty and Britt Eckerstrom are the Nittany Lions' two goalkeepers. McNulty has a 10-2 record in net and holds a 1.11 GAA and .755 save percentage. Eckerstrom has seen time in nine games this season, and owns a 0.92 GAA and .844 save percentage.
Ohio State enters the weekend 10-4 ( 5-2-1 in Conference play) and sits in third place in the Big Ten. The Buckeyes take on Michigan at home on Friday before hosting Michigan State on Sunday. Michigan State is 9-9 all-time against Ohio State.
Senior Forward Lauren Granberg is the reigning Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week after tallying for seven points last weekend in victories over Iowa and Nebraska. Tiffany Cameron ranks 14th in the nation and second in the Big Ten with her team-high 12 goals on the season. Marisa Wolf and Aly Walker each have two goals for the Buckeyes.
Rachel Middleman and Jillian McVicker are the two goalkeepers for the Buckeyes. Middleman has allowed just six goals in 15 appearances this season, good for a 0.64 GAA and .824 save percentage. McVicker owns a 0.50 GAA ad .900 save percentage and has recorded 27 saves.
Olivia Stander is tied for third in the Big Ten in assists with eight, and has a team-high 18 points on the year. Stander continues to climb up the MSU career scoring record books, as she now sits seventh all-time for points in a career at Michigan State (73 points) and tied for third in career assists (22). Stander needs three more assists to tie Laura Heyboer's school record of 25. She is also 10th all-time in goals with 27, and her game-winning goal against Nebraska earlier this season 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 third in the league in saves (60), second in shutouts (5), and she holds a 0.89 GAA to go along with her .800 save percentage.
Megan Marsack, who had a goal and an assist in her freshman season, has already surpassed her freshman year total in both goals (3) and points (7). 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 squads appear in the latest NSCAA/Continental Tire rankings, announced on Tuesday, October 16th. Penn State (14-2-0) is No. 4, while Michigan (13-2-1) moved up four spots to No. 17. Ohio State also received votes.
Michigan State returns home on Saturday, October 27th for its final home game of the season against Northwestern. Kickoff time is 1 p.m.