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'I know our guys will be chomping at the bit': MSU gears up for Indiana after loss to Washington

September 21, 2022

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

Friday night in Seattle

It wasn't a great weekend for Michigan State Athletics in the pacific northwest.

After coming off hot from their win at home against Chicago State, Michigan State men's soccer fell to No. 4 Washington 4-1 this past weekend.

MSU took a lead early on with a goal not even a minute into the first half. Redshirt senior defender Will Perkins assisted junior midfielder Jacob Cromer on a throw-in landing in the box, which Cromer then took a risk as he headed it into the goal. 

“We had a dream start," Rensing said. "We scored 48 seconds into the game against the No. 4 team in the country. On that play, Jacob Cromer was brave and scored his first goal but suffered a broken nose and three stitches. That changed the outlook and Washington got going and was a very good opponent.”

After losing its chance at a clean sheet early on, Washington began to retaliate. It wasn’t until 19 minutes into the half, that the Huskies earned their first goal. They went on to score again 37 minutes in, taking the lead and leaving the score to read 2-1 at halftime.

Although unable to save four shots from the Huskies, senior goalkeeper Owen Finnerty secured a season-high of seven saves.

Rensing said Monday that he liked the benefits of the team's schedule aligning with other MSU teams, specifically football, and hopes there are opportunities for collaboration in the future. 

"All in all, the trip outside of the game was a really cool experience,” Head Coach Damon Rensing said. “We go to play at Washington and there were probably 500 Michigan State fans at that game supporting us. It was a really neat feeling.”

Starting a new season

The Spartans have had a challenging game lineup prior to Big Ten play that Rensing believes has prepared the team for what’s to come.

“We’ve played a really difficult schedule," Rensing said. "We’ve played two teams that were in the Final Four already, three top-10 teams and two of those games on the road. I probably should not follow Tom Izzo on scheduling and try doing something different moving forward.”

MSU will open its conference season this Friday against the Indiana Hoosiers (3-2-1). Kickoff will take place at 7:30 p.m. at Bill Armstrong Stadium.

When asked about what team in their non-conference schedule is most similar to Indiana, “They’re a little different but probably Akron on how good they are in transitioning and going forward,” Rensing said. “Indiana has a good belief and they’re coming off a tough loss at Ohio State. It will be a very difficult game down in Bloomington.

Michigan State faced Indiana last September, a 1-0 loss at DeMartin Stadium.

“We’re prepared to open the Big Ten at Indiana who is also nationally ranked,” Rensing said. “That environment and team that’s pretty well coached shouldn’t phase us because we’ve already been in some very difficult high-level environments. I know our guys will be chomping at the bit to start off the Big Ten, which is a brand new season.”

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