For the first time all year, MSU will play a conference game with no postseason implications.
MSU (9-8-1 overall, 3-8-1 Big Ten) travels to Bloomington, Ind. to close out its 2014 campaign against Indiana (6-11-1 overall, 2-9-1 Big Ten) 7 p.m. Friday night.
The Spartans were eliminated from contention for the Big Ten postseason tournament last weekend, after losing games to Illinois and Northwestern. MSU is now riding a three-game losing streak into Friday’s contest.
Indiana has struggled all season long, both in and out of the conference. The Hoosiers are coming off of a victory, however, after defeating Purdue last Saturday night.
Junior midfielder Jessie Bujouves leads Indiana with five goals and eleven points. Redshirt junior goalkeeper Sarah Stone has started 16 games for the Hoosiers, posting a .733 save percentage along the way.
Indiana has not been nearly as explosive on offense as other Big Ten teams, ranking last in the league in both shots taken (175) and goals scored (15). MSU, a team that has also struggled offensively this year, is just one spot ahead of Indiana in the shot column with 195.
The Hoosiers will need to be opportunistic if they want to put one past MSU redshirt senior goalkeeper . Clem has recorded a Big Ten best 106 saves, good for a .855 save percentage.
The Spartans have lost their previous two matches against Indiana. Last season, MSU dropped a home game in overtime to the Hoosiers, 3-2. Indiana was a much better team last season, and they finished the year 15-7-1 after losing in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
Offensively, the Spartans are led by freshman forward and senior forward . Cheslik leads the team with eight goals, and Wester is out front with seven assists.
Although MSU does not have a postseason to play for, the possibility of a double-digit win season still exists. The Spartans haven’t won double-digit games since 2011, when they finished with a 14-6-1 record.
For the Spartans, six players will suit up in an MSU uniform for the last time. Seniors Courtney Clem, Paige Wester, Megan Marsack, and Nicole Caruso and redshirt juniors Rachel Van Poppelen and Courtney Hammer will all be gone after this season.