After a three-game free fall, the MSU mens soccer team is looking to pull its rip cord and land back on its feet after this weekends games versus Valparaiso and Northwestern.
MSU head coach Joe Baum said the last three matches against Loyola Marymount, Gonzaga and Indiana were all difficult matches but the Spartans were able to compete in all three games.
We played three really difficult matches and were in all of them, Baum said. We were disappointed we didnt get a win but now were at home, and we play very well at home and we think its time for us to get back on track.
Junior midfielder Steve Arce, said the Spartans have to get back the winning attitude they had in the first couple games and try to put the past three games behind them.
(The last three games were) a good learning experience because it shows the younger guys what college soccer is all about, said Arce, who is leading the team in total points with seven. Basically its going to get us back on track to do what we want to do and eventually win the Big Ten.
This weekends home stint could act as a quick remedy for the Spartans. They will get a chance to regain their confidence at 4 p.m. Friday versus Valpo (1-4) before diving back into the waters of the Big Ten at 1 p.m. Sunday versus Northwestern (0-8).
Baum fears that the Valpo game will not be that easy of a confidence builder because his players may be complacent after beating Valpo the last two years.
He also added that they may be on an emotional low after getting so high for the Indiana game.
We were so emotionally geeked, so geeked to play Indiana Im afraid theres going to be a bit of a letdown, Baum said. If we do have an emotional let down it will be upset city.
Arce said Baum wants to prevent an emotional let down by making sure the teams work ethic and commitment doesnt drop off.
Sometimes what happens is you get so pumped up for a big game like Indiana the level of intensity drops a couple of notches if you feel like youre playing weaker opponents, Arce said. Weve got some knocks and some injuries but were just going to try and keep the level of intensity pretty high and not take Valpo lightly.
Baum does not feel MSU will have any problems in its preparation for the Wildcats.
It will be easier to get up for that game, Baum said. Number one they beat us last year 1-0 in Evanston. Now we cant say, We beat these guys last year. Number two we want to get back to being even in the Big Ten.