Friday, October 22, 2021

Preview: MSU men's soccer concludes non-conference play with Western Michigan

October 13, 2021

The Spartans fell 1-0 to the Hoosiers on Sept. 26, 2021.

The Michigan State men's soccer team (5-5-2, 1-2-2 Big Ten) is set to conclude its non-conference play tonight in Kalamazoo against the Western Michigan Broncos (3-4-4).

Last time out, the Spartans collected their first win since their battle with Duquesne on Sept. 21. The afternoon also doubled as their first conference win, when yet another heated double-overtime battle with No. 22 Rutgers ended in a 2-1 victory.

A beautiful pass between sophomore midfielder Jack Zugay and junior forward Gianni Ferri provided the sudden-death golden goal to jump MSU over the Scarlet Knights. This was Zugay's second career goal – both he has collected have been game-winners, referring back to MSU's 4-1 victory over Wisconsin on March 31.

The Spartans are led by none other than senior midfielder Jack Beck and forward Farai Mutatu. The six goals Mutatu has scored this season are the most by a Spartan since 2018's Ryan Sierakowski scored eight; while Beck's seven assists are the most since 2018's All-American Giuseppe Barone had 10.

In their overall series, the Spartans lead the Broncos 35-2-8.

The Broncos are led by junior midfielder/forward Dylan Sing, who has four goals for eight total points this season. A pair of their junior midfielders Max Keenan (three goals) and Charlie Sharp (two goals, two assists) are tied for second in the Mid-American Conference, or MAC, with six points; while their senior goalkeeper Lukas Von Lienen has only allowed seven goals for a goals-against-average, or GAA, of 0.84.

The Broncos' Head Coach Chad Wiseman said he is having his guys take a confident approach when it comes to getting on the field and seeking victories.

On the other end, Spartan Head Coach Damon Rensing said, following their 2-2 draw with Michigan last week, that he's putting all of his faith, his trust, in his guys because he knows what they're capable of accomplishing.

The early evening game will kick off at 4:30 p.m. on ESPN+.

From here, they will roll into their final three games of the regular season – this includes Ohio State for Senior Day on Oct. 17 and No. 12 Maryland on Oct. 22, both at home, and Northwestern on Halloween, Oct. 31, on the road.

Their tournament matchup is unknown at this point in time, though RPI Blogspot has the Spartans seated at No. 26 with high hopes of an at-large bid.

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