Friday, June 5, 2020

Column: How men's soccer can get back on track after winless start

A big win on Tuesday can change the Spartan's season

September 24, 2019

Michigan State men’s soccer (0-4-2) is off to one of their worst starts in school history. It isn’t the follow up one would expect after their deep run in the college cup last year. However, there is still time to turn the season around and they have all the pieces to do so.

The first step to doing this is, of course, to get into the win column. Easier said than done, but the Spartans have the perfect opportunity to capitalize this Tuesday evening.

A victory against No. 16 Notre Dame (3-1-0) can be the spark that the Spartans need to get back into a groove.  

Michigan State is catching their ranked opponent fresh off a 2-0 loss to No. 11 North Carolina (3-1-1). With the Spartans being unable to get into the goal much this season, scoring just three goals in six games, the two goals allowed in the Irish’s last game should be a confidence booster near net.

The victory could lead the Spartans into conference play on Friday against Rutgers, with momentum. If they can roll into their Big Ten games with momentum, the green and white could still be College Cup hopeful.

As senior midfielder Giuseppe Barone and redshirt junior defender Patrick Nielsen are still out with no time table, the play from the veterans and younger players together have kept the team in games. The only problem is, they haven’t shown up all at once. 

If the young core, with the likes of sophomore forward Farai Mutatu, and redshirt sophomore midfielder Alex Shterenberg, can all come together at once, they will have a good shot at rolling off some wins.

The team has the keys they need. It’s only a matter of opening the door and taking a step in the right direction. With a younger core, they might have just needed a little more time to get in tune with each other.

“We’re getting in there with a lot of new faces, and with a lot of new faces I think the offense takes a little more time,” coach Damon Rensing said in his last press conference on Sept. 17.

Although conference play starts this week, and a rematch of the College Cup Semi Final against Akron comes Oct. 15, this Tuesday’s game against Notre Dame could prove to be the most pivotal point in this young team’s season. If they can break their losing streak here, stop the bleeding and repair their wounds, the Spartans will have a good chance at turning this season around.



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