Sunday, December 5, 2021

MSU men's soccer honors their battle-tested seniors

October 19, 2021
<p>Graduate student midfielder Michael Miller throws the ball in. Michigan State men&#x27;s soccer team defeated Duquesne 1-0 on Sept. 21, 2021 in East Lansing.</p>

Graduate student midfielder Michael Miller throws the ball in. Michigan State men's soccer team defeated Duquesne 1-0 on Sept. 21, 2021 in East Lansing.

Photo by Devin Anderson-Torrez | The State News

Michigan State men's soccer's Sunday afternoon victory against Ohio State also doubled as Senior Day for their classes of 2021 and 2022. The 11 honored and celebrated in their success on and off the field included:

Forward Farai Mutatu from Haslett:

"Farai is a special person, no doubt about it. Whoever is in this community and has met him understands that within 15 seconds of talking with him," Rensing said. "When he speaks up his voice is definitely heard and ... he leads by example."

Midfielder Jack Beck from DeWitt:

"Jack ... had a lot of responsibility to learn and grow through his sophomore and junior years. All that kid does is work and do the right things. He's really playing the best soccer he's been. ... Two local guys, I don't know how many other Big Ten programs have that ... We're lucky," Rensing said.

Midfielder Luke Morrell from Kalamazoo – Morrell came to MSU after a two-year stint at Oakland University. He was a needed addition to the family as former star center backs like Michael Wetungu, Patrick Nielsen and Nick Woodruff departed for adult life.

Redshirt midfielder Michael Miller from Normal, Illinois – Miller was originally a part of the class of 2020, but remained at MSU to complete a graduate degree program in kinesiology.

Redshirt defender Connor Brazil from Chesterfield – Brazil came to MSU after a four-year stint at Louisville, though he did not see action in his technical first collegiate year.

Midfielder Louis Sala from West Bloomfield – Sala came to MSU after a two-year stint at Northern Illinois University. He was a needed addition to the soccer IQ and comfortability of the Spartans.

Defender Brandon DeSmyter from DeWitt – DeSmyter came to MSU after a two-year stint at Northern Michigan University. He was already enrolled as a Spartan and had tried out for the team a total of twice. However, he never saw action, as he has continuously battled with injury since 2017.

Redshirt defender Dante Morrissette from Ajak, Ontario – Morrissette came to MSU after a two-year stint at Northeastern University.

Midfielder Olu Ogunwale from East Brunswick, New Jersey.

Redshirt goalkeeper Hunter Morse from Belleville.

Redshirt defender Will Perkins from Detroit

Michigan State Head Coach Damon Rensing had a strong love for this group after they reached the highest of highs and the lowest of lows.

"Very proud of the seniors and this group. They've had to go through a lot if you think about the last four years from being a freshman and being at the College Cup to some injuries and the pandemic," Rensing said. "Going through that all, it's probably not exactly how they thought their four years would go, but they've created a great culture here. They've given everything to the program and I appreciate everything they've done."

Not only did they leave their mark on the program on the field, but they also did on the program as a whole with their personalities and leadership.

"This is all an attribute to their parents – these guys have been raised really well. I get them when they're 18, they're not full adults but ... they're good kids," Rensing said. "You've got guys like Jack Beck, Farai (Mutatu), Michael Miller, Hunter Morse, Will Perkins, etc. those guys have set the standard for four years. They know what it takes and they've been great leaders. They make my job easier."

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