The Maryland men’s soccer team hosted then-No. 13 Michigan State four weeks ago and was shutout 2-0.
But four weeks makes a big difference in college soccer, and the Terps (7-6-3, 4-4-0) have won three out of their last four matches.
Though the Terps lost to Michigan last Sunday, 2-1 in overtime, and fell just short of hosting a Big Ten quarterfinal in the process, the last four weeks has yielded wins over then-No. 7 Denver, Ohio State and Penn State. The Terps will draw upon these confidence boosters to take on Michigan State (10-3-4, 4-2-2) again, this time in East Lansing.
“Now we have a great challenge and a great opportunity against Michigan State,” said head coach Sasho Cirovski. “That was perhaps one of our lesser efforts of the year. I thought Michigan State came here and played really well and it’s our hope now to go and return the favor.”
When the Spartans came to College Park on Oct. 5, senior goalkeeper Jimmy Hague made four saves on the Terps’ nine shot attempts, including an impressive stop on a would-be equalizer in the first half on a header from junior defender Donovan Pines. This was Hague’s 25th career shutout, but he has not posted a clean sheet since then.
The Terps have only been shutout once since— a 0-0 draw with Georgetown— and have scored 10 goals in the last 10 matches.
The team totals 20 goals and 15 goals against, with senior midfielder Amar Sejdic leading the scoring with five goals. Sejdic was one third of the trio of Terps that was named to an All-Big Ten team Friday. Pines and Sejdic were both named to the All-Big Ten First Team, the second such honor for Sejdic, while freshman midfielder William James Herve was unanimously named to the all-freshman team.
Redshirt junior goalkeeper Dayne St. Clair ranks third in the Big Ten for shutouts (7) and holds a 78.6 save percentage, good for fourth in the conference
The Terps are 1-0-1 against the Spartans in Big Ten Tournament action, most recently defeating the Spartans in the 2016 Big Ten Tournament Semifinals, 2-1.
The Spartans have gone 1-2-1 since defeating the Terps, losing 2-1 to Akron on Oct. 9 and Indiana 1-0 in overtime. Michigan State’s sole win in the tail end of the season came against Ohio State, a 2-1 victory. The Terps defeated 5-0 on Oct. 19.
Junior midfielder Giuseppe Barone has nine of the Spartans total 28 goals this season and also has three goals himself, earning him the honor of Big Ten Midfielder of the Year.
Redshirt sophomore defender Patrick Nielsen was named to the All-Big Ten First Team alongside Barone, as he was a large part of the Spartans’ nine shutouts this season. Senior forwards Ryan Sierakowski and DeJuan Jones both have five goals and a combined seven assists.
The Terps and Spartans are scheduled to kickoff in East Lansing at 1 p.m. The match will be streamed live on BTN Plus.
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