Nov. 6, 2009
EVANSTON, Ill. -
No. 17 Northwestern closes out its 2009 men's soccer regular season Saturday as it hosts Michigan State at Lakeside Field. Kickoff is set for 5 p.m. The Wildcats will honor seniors Mark Blades, Pat Coleman, Eamon O'Neill, Drew Pavlovich, Misha Rosenthal and Kevin Valenta in pregame ceremonies.
Gametracker and live streaming video will be available at NUsports.com.
NU (9-3-4, 2-2-1) heads into Saturday's contest in contention for a share of the Big Ten regular season title. A Penn State loss at Indiana on Friday left the Nittany Lions at 3-2-1 in conference play. A tie or a loss by Ohio State (3-2-0) at home against Michigan on Saturday and a win by the Wildcats would earn Northwestern a piece of the crown.
Scouting Michigan State
The Spartans (10-5-2, 2-3-0) are coming off a close 2-1 loss at top-ranked Akron on Wednesday. Prior to the defeat, MSU had notched four wins and a tie in its previous five matches. Rubin Bega paces Michigan State with team bests of nine goals and 23 points this season. Jeff Ricondo contributes five goals and seven assists for 17 points. Avery Steinlage leads the conference with a 0.61 goals-against average and a .853 save percentage. Damon Rensing is in his first season as the head coach of the Spartans.
Michigan State leads the all-time series with Northwestern 26-4-2. The Spartans defeated the Wildcats 1-0 during the regular season and again in the Big Ten tournament a year ago.
Wildcats Fall to Wolverines 1-0 in Double OT
Northwestern dropped a tough 1-0 double-overtime decision Sunday afternoon at Michigan. The Wolverines got the game-winner with 8:06 remaining in the second extra session on a rebound goal by Matt Schmitt. The Wildcats came close to scoring on a number of occasions, including a header by Drew Pavlovich that clanged off the post with just over eight minutes remaining in regulation. NU finished with a slim 16-15 advantage in shots and an 8-4 edge in corner kicks.
Northwestern is honoring its six seniors prior to the start of Saturday's match. The group has posted a 50-21-10 record over the last four seasons, with the 50 wins tying them with last year's class as the winningest class in school history. The sextet is in line to become the first graduating class to appear in the NCAA tournament in each of their four seasons in a Wildcat uniform.
Northwestern travels to Bloomington, Ind., next week to compete in the 2009 Big Ten Tournament. Action gets underway Thursday with opening round games. Check NUsports.com for opponent and game time information.