Monday, September 20, 2021

Valparaiso will challenge MSU at home on Thursday

September 10, 2014
<p>Senior midfielder Fatai Alashe takes a fall while pushing through Florida International midfielder Donald Tomlinson Aug. 31, 2014, at DeMartin Soccer Stadium at Old College Field. The Spartans defeated the Panthers, 3-0. Raymond Williams/The State News</p>

Senior midfielder Fatai Alashe takes a fall while pushing through Florida International midfielder Donald Tomlinson Aug. 31, 2014, at DeMartin Soccer Stadium at Old College Field. The Spartans defeated the Panthers, 3-0. Raymond Williams/The State News

Photo by Raymond Williams | The State News

After starting the season 2-0-1, the men’s soccer team will look to improve upon that record with two games this week. The Spartans will take on Valparaiso on Sept. 11, followed by Loyola-Chicago on Sept. 14.

“Tough game, (Valparaiso) is undefeated ... they play on Tuesday so we’ll get them on short rest ... (they are) very well coached, very well organized, very good on the counter-attack, it’ll be a tough game,” head coach Damon Rensing said describing Valparaiso before practice on Tuesday.

The Crusaders (1-2 overall) have had an interesting beginning to the season with all three of their games going into overtime. The first of which was was a 0-0 tie with North Carolina State on Aug. 29. The second was a 0-0 tie with Davidson on Aug. 31, and the most recent was a 2-1 win over Butler on Sept. 10.

MSU will be on the edge against this Valparaiso team as they have failed to beat them in two consecutive years. In 2012 the Spartans played the Crusaders to a 0-0 draw , and in 2013 the team lost to Valparaiso 2-1 .

"The past two seasons I’ve been here (Valparaiso) really had our number, so we’re not taking them lightly,” junior goalkeeper Zach Bennett said . “No matter what the rankings are (Valparaiso) is a good team ... they’re going to come out flying, they’ve had two good results with us the past two years, so I don’t think their confidence will be shaken at all.

“So I think we really have to come out and try to take it to these guys and set the tone early, because we don’t want to lose or tie to these guys again,” Bennett said.

Loyola-Chicago (3-0 overall) will come into the game against the Spartans having defeated Dayton 2-0 on Aug. 30. The Ramblers beat Western Michigan 1-0 on Sept. 5, and they defeated Utah Valley 1-0 on Sept. 7.

If the Spartans manage to defeat Valparaiso without giving up a goal, it would set up for a showdown with the Ramblers between two teams that have yet to concede a goal this season.

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