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Spartan Women's Soccer Travels to Butler, Hosts Detroit This Weekend

Posted: 9:53 PM, Sep 04, 2019
Updated: 2019-09-04 21:54:54-04
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LANSING, Mich. — Michigan State women's soccer stays on the road for the next match with a trip to Butler on Thursday, Sept. 5 at 7 p.m. The Spartans will return home on Sunday, Sept. 8 in a double-header with the men's soccer team. The women will play at 12 p.m. against Detroit Mercy, with the men hosting Cornell at 3 p.m.

LAST TIME OUT
Michigan State defeated Boston University in a double overtime thriller on the road on Sunday night under the lights at Nickerson Field. The Spartans downed the Terriers, 2-1, in double overtime to remain an undefeated 4-0-0 this season.

Sophomore forward Gia Wahlberg [msuspartans.com] scored the golden goal for the Spartans with less than four minutes remaining in double overtime to down the Terriers, 2-1. Junior midfielder Danielle Stephan [msuspartans.com] was able to free a ball past the Terriers, resulting in a breakaway for Wahlberg, which she was able to kick past BU goalkeeper Amanda Fay, who came out to challenge her.

Freshman forward Paige Webber [msuspartans.com] scored her first collegiate goal in the 86th minute to tie the game up at 1-1 with the clock ticking down. Webber found the equalizer with a header off Stephan's corner kick to force overtime.

Redshirt freshman goalkeeper Lauren Kozal [msuspartans.com] put up a strong fight in goal, keeping the Spartans in the game down the stretch. Kozal finished the game with a season-high four saves, including a crucial save in the second overtime period.

WAHLBERG CONTINUES TO SHINE
Gia Wahlberg [msuspartans.com] continues to shine on the Spartan offense, scoring the game winning goal in double OT to secure the win for Michigan State. Her second game winning goal and first overtime goal comes the week after being named Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week on Tuesday, Aug. 25, following a record-setting outing where she scored four goals in the first-half against Marshall.

Her four goals set a record for the most goals in a first-half at DeMartin Stadium, while the five total Spartan goals ties a record for most goals in a game and the most goals scored at DeMartin Stadium. The forward also tied the Big Ten record for most goals in a game, which only 12 other Big Ten players have achieved, including former Spartan Lauren Hill.

Overall, she leads the team with 10 points this season.

MICHIGAN STATE NOTES
The Spartans have had seven different goal scorers through the first four matches, with Camryn Evans [msuspartans.com] , Danielle Stephan [msuspartans.com] , Bella Jodzis[msuspartans.com] , Michaela Kovacs [msuspartans.com] , Sydney Kloosterman[msuspartans.com] , Gia Wahlberg [msuspartans.com] and Paige Webber [msuspartans.com] all tallying goals on the score-sheet. The seven goal scorers tops last season's numbers, with there only being six goal scorers through all 18 games in 2018.

This is the second consecutive season that the Spartans have begun the season with a 4-0-0 record. Last season, MSU defeated Southern Utah, Boston University and Green Bay at home, before defeating Portland on the road, to begin the first four matches of the season.

The Spartans double overtime win over Boston University was the team's first overtime game this season and the first overtime win since the 2016 season when MSU defeated Purdue, 2-1, on Oct. 26, 2016. It also marked the first Spartan double overtime victory since the team defeated Maryland, 3-2, on Sept. 29, 2016.
Junior midfielder Danielle Stephan [msuspartans.com] has led the Spartans in assists for the past two seasons, tallying six in 2017 and four last season. Through four games, Stephan leads the team with four assists and notched two helpers in the team's double OT victory at Boston University.

The Spartans are one of four Big Ten teams that remain a perfect 4-0-0 through the first two weeks of non-conference play. Iowa, Purdue and Rutgers begin their seasons undefeated.

FRESHMAN RETURNS FROM U.S. U-20 WNT TRAINING CAMP
Freshman defender Bria Schrotenboer [msuspartans.com] returns to the Spartans after spending a week in Chula Vista, California training with the U.S. Under-20 National Team. The Holland, Michigan, native, was one of twenty players selected to attend the training camp.

Schrotenboer was one of two freshman Spartans to start in the season-opener vs. Utah Valley and played all 90 minutes on the backline.

PRESEASON HONORS
Three players were named to the Big Ten Women's Soccer Preseason Honors list. Sophomore forward Camryn Evans [msuspartans.com] , senior defender Michaela Kovacs[msuspartans.com] and freshman defender Bria Schrotenboer [msuspartans.com] were the Spartans selected.

SCOUTING THE BULLDOGS
This marks the eighth game in program history between the two schools, with the Spartans leading the all-time series record with Butler, 4-2-1. In 2017, the Spartans and Bulldogs played a home-and-home series, with MSU losing a 1-0 decision at DeMartin Stadium before taking a 3-2 victory on the road.

Butler begins their 2019 campaign with a 3-1-0 record and are coming off an overtime loss to No. 15 Wisconsin, 2-1, on the road.
Sophomore midfielder Katie Soderstrom leads the Bulldogs in points (9), assists (5), and is tied for the team lead with two goals and one game winning goal. Soderstrom was named BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Week on Aug. 26 after an eight-point week, with wins at Morehead State, 3-0, and IUPUI, 4-1, to begin the season.

SCOUTING THE TITANS
Michigan State owns a 16-1-1 all-time record over Detroit Mercy and are unbeaten at DeMartin Stadium with a 12-0-1 mark. In the last meeting between the two schools, MSU shutout Detroit, 2-0, at home on Sept. 11, 2016.

The Titans are in search of their first win this season, as they have a 0-2-1 record through the first three games. Detroit Mercy plays at Madonna University on Wednesday, Sept. 4 before making the short trip to East Lansing on Sunday.

Detroit Mercy has been outscored by opponents, 7-2, with both goals being scored in the season opener against Northwood that resulted in a 2-2 draw. The Titans have been shutout in the last two matches, against Eastern Michigan, 1-0, and Northern Arizona, 4-0.

SAXTON SAYS
"Total focus on tomorrow night. It's a big game. It's probably the toughest game in our non-league schedule, at Butler, on a turf field again. I think Boston University gave us a good idea of what we're going to be up against; fast-paced, turf game, balls all over the place. We had to adjust our style. It wasn't a pretty game on Sunday night, but we found a way to be effective and that's what we have to do against Butler. They're going to be a handful; they're very athletic, they're receiving votes in the national polls. We know it's a test but we look at it as an opportunity.

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