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Preview: Men's soccer prepares to close out Penn State doubleheader

September 29, 2023
Sophomore forward Michael Beckett (21) and Penn State defense Brennan Ireland (4) attempt to head the ball during the game against Penn State on Oct. 14, 2017 at DeMartin Stadium. The Spartans defeated the Nittany Lions in the pouring rain, 1-0.
Sophomore forward Michael Beckett (21) and Penn State defense Brennan Ireland (4) attempt to head the ball during the game against Penn State on Oct. 14, 2017 at DeMartin Stadium. The Spartans defeated the Nittany Lions in the pouring rain, 1-0.

The No. 12 ranked Spartans return to Big Ten action as they prepare to play host to Penn State to close out the Michigan State soccer doubleheader this Sunday, with the men’s kickoff set for 3 p.m. The men’s team will take the field following the Women’s match against Penn State at noon, with streaming available for both matches on Big Ten Plus

This match will round out the three game home-stand for the men’s team following a draw against Oakland and victory against Indiana

In their previous match against Oakland, the men’s team just escaped a loss with an 88th minute equalizer thanks to the brave head of sophomore forward Jonathan Stout—preserving the Spartan's undefeated start to the season.

“I think we’re in a good spot. We know we did some good things against Oakland, so getting a tie leaves a sour taste—which is good motivation to get back on the win streak,” head coach Damon Rensing said.

The visiting Penn State took their first step into the US Soccer Coaches rankings this past Tuesday, slotting into the No. 25 spot. Their entrance into the rankings comes off the back of some impressive recent form with the Nittany Lions winning their last four matches, while only conceding a single goal in the process.

The Lions prolific offense has been a key aspect of their season scoring a total of 17 goals in nine matches so far. Rensing noted the threats of Penn State’s attack including senior forward Peter Mangione who has four goals to his name, and fifth year forward Liam Butts who scored a hat-trick against Ohio State this season.

“They’ve got a few different guys they can throw up top, they’re really good in transition, so right when you think you’re comfortable they can get after you,” Rensing said.

Following the match against Penn State, the Spartan’s will be back on the road when they make their way down to Madison, Wisconsin to face off against the Badgers next Friday on Oct. 6. with streaming available on Big Ten Plus.

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