Although it lost both games last weekend, Maryland women’s soccer competed with two top-15 teams in the country, including keeping Penn State scoreless for 90 minutes. Now, the Terps will look to continue their improvement against Michigan State, a team that has struggled in conference as much as Maryland has.
The game is scheduled for Saturday night, with a 7 p.m. ET start time. BTN Plus will have the broadcast.
Michigan State Spartans (6-10, 2-7 Big Ten)
2016 record: 7-10-1, 4-7
Head coach Tom Saxton. Saxton is in his 27th season as Michigan State’s head coach, totaling 261 wins in that span. He’s lead the Spartans to 12 winning seasons and three NCAA tournament appearances in the last 17 years. Additionally, Saxton is a two-time Big Ten Coach of the Year, the last of which coming in 2006.
Players to know
Jamie Cheslik, senior, forward, No. 15. Cheslik is Michigan State’s leading scorer in 2017, totaling six goals and 16 points. The senior also leads the team with 43 shots, 20 shots on goal and three game-winning goals. Finally, she has played in all but 19 minutes for the Spartans this season.
Lexy Warner, junior, midfielder, No. 14. While Cheslik has lead the way for Michigan State’s offense, Warner isn’t too far behind. The junior has totaled five goals, 13 points, 30 shots and 16 shots on goal, all of which are second on the team. Warner also has three goals in the team’s last four games.
Saves per game. With Michigan State struggling this season, goalkeeper Reilley Ott has seen her fare share of opposition, compiling 5.8 saves-per-game. As a team, the Spartans are ranked 18 in the country, saving an average of 6.75 saves each game over their 16 games.
Most everything else. Michigan State has had its fair share of issues this season, and it has spread all over the field. The Spartans are only scoring 1.13 goals per game, which is tied for 222nd in the country, while allowing 2.41 goals a night, which is ranked 318th in the nation.
Three things to watch
- Can Maryland score? It has been 3.5 games since Maryland last scored a goal despite two strong showings last weekend vs. ranked opponents. With just two games left, the Terps want to end the season on a high note, and a home game against an under -500 team is their best chance to finally break the streak.
- Can Rachel Egyed continue her dominance? Egyed was the best player on the field vs. Penn State, keeping Maryland in that game as long as she could. Against a Michigan State team that has struggled to score this year, Egyed has a legitimate chance to get her third shutout of the season.
- Will the seniors go out on top? Maryland’s final home game means senior night and the end for a solid core of players who never reached an NCAA Tournament. Most notably, stalwart defender Hope Gouterman and versatile midfielder Madison Turner will be playing their last home game. Additionally, despite being injured, another core leader in Chelsea Jackson will be honored, as she doesn’t qualify for a redshirt season. Natasha Ntone-Kouo, Kate Waters and Zoe Clark round out the seniors Maryland will honor.