Spartan Men’s Soccer opens the season against Army Friday
EAST LANSING, Michigan- Michigan State Men’s Soccer will open the 2022 season, hosting the Army on Friday, August 26 at 7 p.m. This is the second straight season that MSU opens the season on Aug. 26, having beaten Cleveland State on the same date in 2021, 2-1.
Michael Markoch will be on call on Big Ten Network+.
The Spartans finished the 2021 season with a 6-9-2 record and a 2-4-2 record in Big Ten action. MSU will look to replace first-team All-Big Ten winner Farai Mutatu who led the Spartans in points last season with seven goals and three assists for 17 points.
The Spartans ended the exhibition with a 1-2 record in three home games. MSU started with a 3-0 victory over Lawrence Tech on August 10 behind goals from the freshman forward Jonathan Stoutsenior midfielder George Conner and second ahead Efosa Emovon. MSU then dropped a pair of hard-fought 1-0 battles against Butler on Aug. 14 and No. 7 Pitt on Aug. 19.
WATCHING THE DARK KNIGHTS
Michigan State holds a 2-0-0 series lead with Army, but the two teams haven’t met since 1965. Both meetings were in the NCAA Tournament with MSU winning the first meeting 3-2 in overtime in 1964 at Providence, RI The following season, the Spartans won 3-0 at St. Louis.
Last season, Army was 8-7-1 overall and 4-4-1 in the Patriot League. The Black Knights were chosen to finish sixth in the Patriot League this season.
Senior Justin McStay rounds out the returning cadets who logged over 1,000 minutes and started at least 10 games last season, highlighted by a one-goal and one-assist performance in a Patriot League win over Colgate.
Army returns to its most-used starting backline of the 2021 season, with defenders Luke Doyle and Jack Eaton starting 15 and 14 games respectively last year. Both Nick Atkinson and D’Anthony Brown have made 15 starts at left-back and right-back respectively.
The Michigan State men’s soccer team had three players named to the top ten players to watch list on Monday, the conference bureau announced.
graduate midfielder Jack Beckredshirt-senior defender Will Perkins and junior forward Grayson Mercer have all been honored by the league.
The Big Ten preseason poll was also released on Monday, as voted on by the league’s nine coaches. MSU was voted sixth, while defending Big Ten Tournament champion Penn State was voted first. Indiana was voted to finish second, with Maryland taking third.
Beck, a native of DeWitt, Michigan, is a two-time All-Big Ten selection for the Spartans, earning first-team honors last season. He finished second on the team in scoring in 2021 with nine points. Beck finished third in the Big Ten last season with seven assists.
Perkins, a native of Detroit, Michigan, returns for his fifth season with Michigan State. He started all 17 games last season. Also in 2021, Perkins finished fourth on the team in scoring with two goals and two assists for six points.
Mercer, a native of Heber City, Utah, is entering his third season with the Spartans. He has played 13 games over the past two seasons with four starts.
The Spartans welcome nine new players to the 2022 roster along with seven freshmen and two transfers. Certified goalkeeper Owen Finnerty may sound familiar to Spartan fans, transferred from Michigan. junior defender Elijah Howe comes to MSU from West Florida. The seven freshmen include the freshman midfielder Jack Guggemos of Okemos and Jake Spadafora of Northville.
Michigan State is bringing back several veterans to the 2022 team. Both Jack Beck and Will Perkins will return for their fifth season with MSU. The captaincy duo is the final roster Spartans who were part of the 2018 College Cup squad.
The Spartans will face a very difficult first half of the season. After taking on the Army, Michigan State will host No. 4 Notre Dame on Monday, August 29 at 7 p.m. at DeMartin Stadium. The Spartans will then wrap up the three-game home game against rival Western Michigan State on Thursday, Sept. 1 at 7:30 p.m. The game against the Broncos will be a doubleheader with the MSU women’s soccer team.
O CAPTAIN! MY CAPTAIN!
The Spartan have named three captains this season. The main MSUs will be the seniors Jack Beck, Will Perkins and Louis Sala. This is the second consecutive season that Beck and Perkins have been captains.