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Spartans to put unbeaten streak on line today against visiting Western Michigan

October 23, 2007

After scoring one goal in a double overtime tie with Valparaiso on Sunday, the MSU men’s soccer team is looking to come out more aggressively when it faces Western Michigan today.

“We’re just going to have to come out and play like it’s a Big Ten game, play real aggressive defensively, really try to shut them down, try to get them out of their rhythm,” MSU head coach Joe Baum said.

“If we allow them to get into a good offensive rhythm, we’re going to have problems.”

Fortunately for the No. 16 Spartans (10-1-3 overall), the Broncos have struggled all season, and have been unable to put together a winning streak of any kind. They currently stand at 7-7-1.

Still Baum is wary of the Broncos’ potential for an offensive attack.

“We know them really well,” Baum said.

“They’re a very good team. They have a couple of very dangerous forwards, some nice midfielders.”

Broncos forward Tom Oatley has five goals and four assists on the season and leads all Western Michigan scorers with 14 points.

“(He’s a) very good player — very fast, very dangerous,” Baum said. “We’ll probably have a man and a half on him.”

The Spartans have shut out Western Michigan in recent matches, blanking them in 2005, 2-0, and 2006, 4-0.

Junior forward Doug DeMartin has had success against the Broncos with two goals and an assist in two career games.

DeMartin, however, insists that he doesn’t approach a game against the Broncos any differently than a game against a Big Ten opponent.

“I know some of those kids, so I’ve played against them quite a bit,” DeMartin said.

“That helps somewhat but nothing different than any other team.”

With a possible NCAA Tournament berth in the works, Baum is keeping a level head and taking the remaining games one at a time.

“We’re not in yet, that’s for sure,” Baum said. “We’ve got to win a couple more games here and it all starts with (today). We start looking ahead, we’ll be out. We don’t even talk about any game except Western Michigan.”

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