Between junior defender Nick Stone, redshirt junior defender Will Perkins and redshirt senior defender Connor Brazil, Michigan State soccer's Chase Inscho considers himself to be learning from the best.
"I'm happy to be finally making my mark with them right there (beside me)," Inscho said following the 2-2 draw against Michigan last night.
The 6-foot redshirt freshman defender and native of Rochester, Michigan, came to Spartan territory after a long career as Vardar Academy Boys U18/19 soccer team captain. Vardar Academy has also produced other MSU defensive standouts like the class of 2012 and current Memphis 901 FC senior defender Zach Carroll and class of 2007's Colin Givens.
Inscho only saw action in two games during his freshman season at MSU before he was benched due to unknown reasons.
Inscho first became a face on the starting lineup in the game against Oakland on Sept. 3, where he replaced redshirt senior defender Dante Morrissette. Since then, he has solidified his spot on the backline, and in the last two games, he's showed what he's really capable of, not only to the coaching staff and his teammates but to Spartan fans alike.
"Michigan's a pretty direct team right now just because of their injuries and they've got two big boys up top in (Evan) Rasmussen and (Derick) Broche, but I thought our guys (on defense) did a noble effort," MSU Head Coach Damon Rensing said postgame.
Inscho went from having no statistical record to starting in five of the six games this season and totaling 382 minutes on the field. He's only made two shot attempts, the first against Indiana on Sept. 26 and the second last night against Michigan in the second round of overtime.
Working closely with Stone, Perkins and Brazil has its benefits.
Last season, Stone was one of four players to record at least one goal and one assist and he was named to the All-Big Ten Second Team. Last night, in particular, the 5-foot-10 junior from Pinckney, Michigan, was one of the two goals scored for the Spartans.
So far this season, Stone is averaging a 50 percent shot-on-goal rate.
Perkins sustained an injury during the 2019 season, making him and Inscho similar in terms of redshirting and missing out on some moments in the program. However, now, as one of four captains, Perkins is a solid part of MSU's starters.
Prior to MSU, Brazil was down in Louisville, Kentucky, where he averaged a 66.7 percent shot-on-goal rate over the 2019-20 season for the Cardinals.
Inscho said that because of the chemistry they've built up, the other defenders make life easier for him on the field as they prepare him to one day take over the role of a seasoned veteran and pass his knowledge on to new recruits.
Rensing said on Inscho's athletic profile that Inscho has a lot of qualities to make him the ideal Big Ten center-back candidate:
"Chase possesses the athletic qualities that the position requires," Rensing said on the MSU Athletic website. "However, he also has the leadership and ability to communicate that should allow him to excel. He is also comfortable on the ball, which suits MSU, as we like to play out of the back."
Those attributes will be crucial for the Spartans as they look to wrap up the remaining games on their Big Ten schedule and put themselves in a good position heading into the Big Ten Tournament.
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