Saturday evening Michigan State men’s soccer (0-2-2) will play their first game away from home against Dartmouth (1-1-0).
The Spartans started off their season ranked No. 7 in the preseason polls, but since have fallen out of the top 25, following a four-game winless skid. Dartmouth should prove to be a tough opponent, winning four of their last five Ivy League Championships and playing a close contest with No. 1 Wake Forest last Friday, before falling. Head Coach Damon Rensing believes that this road trip will be a challenge, but will be good for the, still hungry, team.
“They’ve been in the NCAA tournament four of the last five years, so they are a very good program. I think it’s good that we are getting away together as a group on the road ... I know the guys are chomping at the bit to get a result,” Rensing said.
Michigan State didn’t start off the season on the foot they wanted to, but with a win this weekend, the momentum shift could be the spark they need.
“I think there would be a little more confidence. I know the guys want it, but sometimes you just gotta see the result and I think once they see it, it can start to go in our direction,” Rensing said.
Hoping to swing momentum, the Spartans will look to this Dartmouth game for their first win, and to the next few games past it. Big Ten play starts in just three games, and Michigan State will use these next games to fine tune what they need to in order to match the high tempo game that comes with Big Ten teams.
“Just keep getting a little better, keep working on some details, both defensively and offensively. Try to get our speed of play up, the Big Ten is fast and very high tempo … So we’ve got to be at our best. We’ll use these games to try to get our tempo and speed of play really up for the Big Ten,” Rensing said.
Michigan State will look to elevate their game and get back on the right foot at 7pm Saturday night against the Big Green. The start of conference play comes Sept. 27 against Rutgers.