The Michigan State men's soccer team ended their regular season 3-1 on the banks of Lake Michigan at Northwestern. While tournament seedings and matchups have yet to be released, the Spartans wrap up 6-8-2 overall and 2-4-2 in-conference at No. 8.
MSU Head Coach Damon Rensing and players were unavailable for comment following the road game.
Leading the Wildcats to their victory was sophomore forward Justin Weiss. Weiss, a transfer from Colgate University, is "a troublemaker with the ball, especially in his possessions near the box," soccer beat writer at The Daily Northwestern Lawrence Price wrote in an email.
Not only does Weiss now lead the team in goals with eight, but he's a top performer in the conference. Price said he's tied for third in most goals and most shots and seventh in most points per game across the Big Ten.
"NU lost its top scorer from last year in Ugo Achara Jr. to Louisville, and Weiss has done a great job to fill the scoring void," Price wrote.
Weiss scored two of Northwestern's three goals this evening.
Helping Weiss out in the victory were graduate defender Spencer Farina, senior forward Jose Del Valle and junior midfielder Vicente Castro. Farina scored the third of NU's three points, while Del Valle and Castro tallied four total assists in the process.
"Castro is tied for (third) in most assists in the Big Ten conference and definitely embodies the midfielder role as a facilitator and leader," Price said in the email.
MSU's singular goal came off the foot of senior forward Farai Mutatu, assisted by graduate midfielder Michael Miller, in the 14th minute.
Price wrote that Northwestern's defense and goalkeeping were its strongest suits this season. Graduate goalkeeper Miha Miskovic faced seven shots today, only allowing one to get by him. Price called him a workhorse, saying that he holds the second most saves and third most shutouts in the conference.
"The team has given up three or more goals only twice this season and nine matches have been decided by a goal or tie," Price wrote. "This details the opposing team's difficulty finding the goal against Northwestern, and the team's ability to stop opponents from attacking."
The Spartans are currently seated at No. 45 on RPI Blogspot, while Northwestern is at No. 98. It looks as if they are no longer represented when it comes to an at-large bid for the NCAA Tournament.
Michigan State will take on Penn State in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament on Nov. 7 at 4 p.m.
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