The MSU men's soccer team announced their 2012 schedule yesterday, and it looks like it's going to be an intense season for the Spartans. Head coach Damon Rensing mentioned the 20-game schedule includes matchups with teams from eight different conferences, nine of which qualified for the NCAA tournament in 2011.
"The combination of our non-conference schedule along with the Big Ten Schedule makes it one of the toughest in the country," said Rensing to press. "Our goal is to play a tough schedule at home as well as on the road in order to prepare us to challenge for a Big Ten Title and a considerable NCAA run." Rensing annually puts together a tough schedule for his team, and it's nothing they couldn't handle so far. Last year the team went 7-8-4 Overall and 2-2-2 in the Big Ten Conference. While it isn't the best record, the guys could clearly hold their own against their tough opponents, having 20 goals throughout the season, with a close 19 against. These tight matches are what Rensing is looking for in this upcoming season.
"With Notre Dame, UConn, Providence, and Marquette, we have four very high-quality Big East teams on our schedule," Rensing noted as he talked to press about the team's out-of-conference schedule. "Then, we also have Akron, which has been one of the top programs in the country the last three years. We had an incredibly exciting game with them last year, and we're excited to bring them to East Lansing."
After matching up with some major players in the Big East, the Spartans will return home September 21 to take on in-state rivals, Western Michigan. As far as the Big Ten goes, the MSU men will kick off conference play at home in DeMartin Stadium on September 30 against reigning Big Ten Champs, the Northwestern Wildcats. They will also end the regular season within the Big Ten, playing Green and White's arch nemesis, Michigan. The Spartans will travel to Ann Arbor to take on U of M on Saturday, November 3.
With the Green and White traveling all over the country to take on each tough team, the 2012 season will be one to watch as head coach Rensing prepares the Spartans to go to the NCAA tournament. Look out for the schedule to be on paper by the beginning of August. Go Green!
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