Sept. 28, 2012
No. 18 Northwestern (6-1-2, 1-0-0 B1G)
vs. Michigan State (3-5-1, 0-0-0 B1G)
Sunday, Sept. 30 • 2:30 p.m. CT
East Lansing, Mich.
DeMartin Soccer Complex
TV: Big Ten Network (LIVE)
Live Stats: Gametracker
In-Game Tweets: @NU_SportsLIVE
MSU Match Notes
Northwestern returns to Big Ten action Sunday, playing its first conference match on the road against Michigan State at 2:30 p.m. Sunday’s match will air live on the Big Ten Network with Brian Kilmeade and Chris Doran on the call.
Sunday’s match is NU’s second conference match of the season after shutting out Michigan last Sunday, 2-0. After Sunday’s match, the Wildcats won’t face another Big Ten foe until Sunday, Oct. 14 when Ohio State visits Lakeside Field, which also will air live on the Big Ten Network. NU faces two nonconference opponents between the two Big Ten games, playing at Bradley Wednesday, Oct. 3 and then hosting No. 8 Notre Dame at Lakeside Field Tuesday, Oct. 9.
Battling the Big Ten
Northwestern saw its 17-match regular-season unbeaten streak and season-opening eight-match eight-match unbeaten streak come to an end in Wednesday’s 2-0 loss to DePaul, but the Wildcats are still on a seven-match unbeaten streak in regular-season conference games. NU also is unbeaten in its last nine matches vs. the Big Ten when you include its tie and win en route to its 2011 Big Ten Tournament title.
Despite Wednesday’s loss, NU still had one of the better starts in program history with its eight-match unbeaten streak (6-0-2). That ties for the second-longest undefeated streak to start the season as the 2007 squad was 7-0-1 in its first eight. The 2008 team still holds the program record, going unbeaten in its first 13 matches, which also is the longest unbeaten streak in NU history. The 2008 Wildcats were 11-0-2 in their first 13 matches.
Shutout Streak Snapped
Prior to Wednesday’s match, Tyler Miller and the NU defense had shut out its last three opponents, carrying a 281:40 shutout streak into the DePaul game. That streak extended to 345:97 before Aguilar’s first goal at the 64:57 mark. The NU defense still ranks among the top in the conference in goals-against average (0.73 goals per game, third), goals allowed (seven in nine matches, third). The NU backfield has done a good job of stopping the ball before it even gets to Miller as he has only made 24 saves in nine matches (2.67 per game), which ranks sixth out of seven Big Ten squads. (Stats as of 9/28)
Second Half Squad
NU has excelled in the second half so far this year, scoring nine of its 14 goals in the final frame. Another two goals came in overtime and three goals were scored in the first 45 minutes. NU also holds the 55-43 advantage on shots in the final 45 minutes of the game. The Wildcats have allowed just five goals this season with two coming in the second half.
Last Time Out
NU hosted crosstown rival DePaul Wednesday night at Lakeside Field and dropped its first match of the season 2-0. The Blue Demons tallied two second-half goals, both scored by Antonio Aguilar. Northwestern only managed six shots while DePaul had 12 looks, including eight in the second half. Prior to Wednesday’s match, the Wildcats had not lost a regular-season match since Sept. 28, 2011, which also was against DePaul.
Scouting Michigan State
Sunday’s match is the first Big Ten contest for the Spartans as they are out to a 3-5-1 start. MSU has not played in nine days with its last game coming on Sept. 21 in a 2-1 win vs. Western Michigan. Tim Kruetz is the reigning Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week after scoring a goal and an assist against Western Michigan, who was receiving votes in the NSCAA poll. Adam Montague leads the team with two goals, followed by four Spartans who have recorded a goal and assist (Domenic Barone, Tim Kreutz, Cody Henderson, and Luke Norman). Senior Ryan Thelen is the team’s leading assist man, and tied for second in the league, with three on the season.
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