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Men's soccer will kick off Big Ten season against Maryland on Friday

September 18, 2014
<p>Junior midfielder Jay Chapman passes the ball upfield during the game against Loyola-Chicago on Sept. 14, 2014, at DeMartin Soccer Stadium at Old College Field. Raymond Williams/The State News</p>

Junior midfielder Jay Chapman passes the ball upfield during the game against Loyola-Chicago on Sept. 14, 2014, at DeMartin Soccer Stadium at Old College Field. Raymond Williams/The State News

Photo by Raymond Williams | The State News

This upcoming Friday, the men’s soccer team will take on the Maryland Terrapins in what will be MSU’s first Big Ten game of the season.

“We have to refocus, work on some things this week, obviously there’s a huge one on Friday, the guys are already thinking about it and (there’s) a lot of work to do, a lot to work on,” senior defender Ryan Keener said after the game last Sunday.

MSU will be facing Maryland in College Park at Ludwig Field. Ludwig is known to host some big crowds, with a capacity of 7,000. The $2.5 million dollar field is described on its websit e as a “cornerstone of collegiate soccer throughout the nation.”

“You’re going to have to be very sharp with Maryland. They do a lot of things well at their home place; it’s a very tough environment but it’s a fun environment,” head coach Damon Rensing said in a video interview on Tuesday.

“We played there back in 2010, so the coaching staff kind of knows about it and some of the older players know about it, but we will have to be very sharp. The speed of play is going to be very good, and we have got to be on the same page,” Rensing said.

Maryland, in its first season in the Big Ten, is coming into the conference after a very successful 2013 campaign in which they came up just short, losing to Notre Dame in the national championship. The Spartans also lost to Notre Dame last year, two rounds earlier in the Elite Eight.

“It’s going to be an electric environment... it’s a game the guys won’t forget just based on the setting,” Rensing said after the game last Sunday. Both Teams lost to the Fighting Irish by a final score of 2-1.

Conference games are always competitive, but this game will have an extra edge on it as Maryland has gotten off to a slow 1-2-2 start compared to the Spartans 3-1-1 start. Playing in that environment under those circumstances will be no easy task for MSU.

“You take their tradition, they’re (also) very well coached ... it’s a different game when it’s at Maryland. When they’re home, we’ll be prepared, we’ll have to be smart about how we approach the game, and we’ll be ready to go.”

After the game against the Terrapins, the Spartans have the rest of the weekend off, not playing again until Wednesday, Sept. 24 against the Bowling Green State Falcons.

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