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Men's soccer will face Providence in Elite Eight Saturday

December 4, 2014
<p>Senior midfielder Fatai Alashe heads the ball against Washington forward Josh Heard on Nov. 30, 2014, at DeMartin Stadium at Old College Field. The Spartans tied the Huskies, 2-2, with penalty kicks, 4-3. Aerika Williams/The State News </p>

Senior midfielder Fatai Alashe heads the ball against Washington forward Josh Heard on Nov. 30, 2014, at DeMartin Stadium at Old College Field. The Spartans tied the Huskies, 2-2, with penalty kicks, 4-3. Aerika Williams/The State News

"(Providence is) a good team, they’re not necessarily a team that jumps out at you as a huge soccer powerhouse, but that doesn’t mean they’re not extremely good,” junior goalkeeper Zach Bennett said.

Senior midfielder Fatai Alashe believes that if the team sticks to what it’s been doing all year long it will translate to success on the field. At this point in the season all of the remaining teams know their identity and the Spartans must stay true to theirs to come away victorious.

"(To win on Saturday) I would say we just need to play our game,” Alashe said. “There’s not too much we need to change. ...For the most part we will try to play our game, try to play our style of soccer and make them try to adjust to us.”

The Spartans have relied on strong defensive play led by redshirt senior defender Ryan Keener, junior defender Zach Carroll and Bennett in front of the net.

"(Providence is a) very talented team, they share with us (our) hard-working blue collar mentality,” Keener said. “I think we need to stick to what we do best...if we stay sound defensively and keep everything tight on set pieces then I think we’ll give ourselves a shot.”

The MSU defense will need to stop Providence leading scorers senior forward Markus Naglestad and sophomore forward Mac Steeves . Naglestad leads the team in total points with 22 on 10 goals and two assists , Steeves is not far behind with 20 total points on nine goals and two assists .

Senior midfielder and forward Tim Kreutz , who scored the equalizing goal in the Spartans Sweet Sixteen matchup with the Washington Huskies last Sunday, stated the team is confident they will be the better team when it is all said and done.

“I think it’s going to be a good game, they’re pretty well coached, they’re Big East tournament champions which is a pretty tough feat any year,” Kreutz said. “We expect it to be back and forth but we have no doubt that we’ll be the better team.”

Should the Spartans win on Saturday, the team will head to Cary, N.C. for the Final Four on Dec. 12.

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