Despite a 5-5-1 record, the MSU mens soccer team remains optimistic that its best soccer is still to come.
MSU head coach Joe Baum said the teams record is not as good as they hoped, but they have reason to be hopeful after tying No. 19 Ohio State on Sunday despite being shorthanded due to injuries.
We only played 12 players in that game, Baum said. For us to go down there beat up and come away with a real, real solid tie - we were frustrated we didnt win the game.
We walked off that field feeling pretty good about our soccer team and I think our best soccer is still ahead of us.
As the team continues to heal they are becoming more hopeful they can turn their season around.
Senior forward Steve Williford has been in and out of the lineup all year because of injuries. Williford said it will be nice to have the entire team back since they have not played with their whole team all year.
We just have to take care of our business, Williford said. We have to win all our games from here on out. We cant afford any screw ups.
Although MSU plays Michigan this Sunday, Baum said the catalyst to the teams improvement will be today at 4 p.m.against Loyola-Chicago.
It (will be) a tough game, Baum said. (Loyola-Chicago is) 8-5-2, theyre ranked seventh or eighth in the Midwest, believe me were not looking to Michigan. What were hoping is that we can go play really well and get a win at Loyola and go down to Michigan and keep things rolling in the right direction.
Senior midfielder Rick Smith said the team is at a crossroads going into the next two games with a .500 record.
Its kind of our turning point, not just for Michigan but for our whole season, Smith said.
(Loyola-Chicago) will prepare us for Michigan but Michigan is just a different story. Weve never played them (as a varsity team) before, but I think well be pumped up for that game.