Michigan State Men's Soccer 2014 NCAA Tournament Capsule

Michigan State Spartans
Big Ten


Michigan State made four national championship game appearances in the 1960’s but they followed that decade with over 30 years without an NCAA Tournament appearance. That has changed since the turn of the century, as the Spartans have made eight of the last 13 tournaments. Michigan State is coming off its best postseason performance since the 1960’s, as the Spartans made the Elite Eight last season. Head Coach Damon Rensing and his veteran team, that includes four senior starters, will look to build off last season’s strong finish and show that they are a program that is a true championship contender.

2014 Record: 11-4-5, 4-2-2
Coach: Damon Rensing

Good Results: 9/19 at Maryland (1-0), 11/5 at Indiana (3-2)
Bad Results: 9/11 Valparaiso (0-1), 10/22 at Oakland (0-2)

Why They Can Surprise:
Michigan State is a veteran team with plenty of tournament experience. Nine of the Spartans regular starting XI saw quality minutes on last year’s Elite Eight team and another, Zach Carroll, was a regular for a Virginia team that made the NCAA College Cup semifinals last season. The Spartans also boast one of the top defenses in the country, ranking in the top 15 nationally in goals against average, shutout percentage and save percentage. Coming off an Elite Eight run last season, Michigan State should be focused on returning to that stage. Given their stout defense, Michigan State should be a legit contender to do just that.

Why They Can Disappoint:
If the Spartans are unable to make a run, it is likely because of a lack of an offensive output. Michigan State has scored a goal or less in 12 of their 20 games this season. That didn’t hurt the Spartans in the regular season, as they went 6-2-5 in those games thanks in large part to their defense, but that could change in the tournament. Michigan State does feature a very balanced offensive attack that features five different players who are tied for the team lead with four goals this season. That offensive output is down from last season’s team, but that could actually play into the Spartans favor. Michigan state features two senior forwards, Tim Kreutz, who led the team with nine goals last season, and Adam Montague, who scored five goals in just 16 games last year, that have had down seasons. Both seem due for increased offensive outputs given their experience and past success and that could end up being the difference maker for the Spartans.

Key Strikers:
Adam Montague, Senior, 4 goals, 3 assists
Tim Kreutz, Senior, 4 goals, 2 assists

Key Midfielders:
Jason Stacy, Junior, 4 goals, 7 assists
Jay Chapman, Junior, 4 goals, 4 assists
Dewey Lewis, Sophomore, 0 goals, 5 assists
Fatai Alshe, Senior, 2 goals, 1 assist

Key Defenders:
Zach Carroll, Junior, 4 goals, 1 assist
Ryan Keener, Senior, 2 goals, 0 assists

Key Goalkeepers:
Zach Bennett, Junior, 0.67 goals against average, .827 save percentage, 11 shutouts

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 1.37 (93rd in nation, 4th in conference)
Goals-Against Average: 0.70 (17, 2)
Shutout Percentage: .58 (7, 1)
Save Percentage: .829 (19, 3)

Recent Postseason Appearances:
2013    Second Round    Defeated Louisville
2013    Third Round    Defeated Georgetown
2013    Quarterfinals    Lost to Notre Dame
2012    First Round     Defeated Cleveland State
2012    Second Round    Lost to Notre Dame
2010    First Round    Defeated Oakland
2010    Second Round    Defeated Butler
2010    Third Round    Lost to North Carolina
2009    Second Round    Lost to Duke
2008    Second Round    Lost to Illinois-Chicago
2007    First Round    Lost to Oakland
2004    First Round    Lost to Tulsa

*all team stats through 11/9


See All Men’s Soccer Postseason Capsules