As the men’s soccer team (5-2-2 overall, 1-1-1 Big Ten) prepares to take on the Akron Zips (5-3-1 overall), they will have to prepare after only two days of rest.
Having just played Ohio State on Oct. 4, the team must turn around and play the Zips on Oct. 7. Head coach Damon Rensing believes the short rest will play to the team’s advantage, forcing them to have a short memory and move past the 3-2 loss last Saturday.
“That’s the good thing about college soccer, you get just a couple days (between games),” Rensing said. “We don’t have time to feel sorry for ourselves, we need to learn from that (loss to Ohio State) and get ready for a good Akron team, we’ll have a short memory for sure.”
After uncharacteristically giving up three goals to the Buckeyes, the Spartans will have to stop Akron’s leading scorer, sophomore midfielder Adam Najem, who leads the Zips with three goals and eight points this season.
The Zips will be looking for only their second win away from Akron. Akron is 4-0 at home but only 1-3-1 in away games, whereas the Spartans are 3-1-1 at home and will hope the Zips’ poor play away from Akron will translate in East Lansing on Saturday.
Despite losing to Ohio State, Rensing hopes the offense can pick up where they left off on Saturday, in which they scored multiple goals for only the second time this season.
"(Scoring two goals) was good, we’ll just have to put it together where we don’t give up as many goals and can continue to score some goals,” Rensing said. “I think there’s a chance that we can start to click in the next couple of games here offensively.”
Rensing believes that Akron is one of the better possession teams in the country, citing it as one of the best attributes of the Zips.
“They’re really good in possession, they are one of the better possession teams in the country. They read pressure well, so they’ll be difficult to play against but I think we’ll match up well with them,” Rensing said.
If the Spartans are going to win the Big Ten this season, Rensing believes they will have to be sharper going forward.
“We’ve got five more games (in the Big Ten) so it’s not the end of the world, you don’t want to give away opportunities but this is a really competitive conference,” Rensing said. “We’ll have to be a little shaper definitely in the Big Ten games (going forward).”