Spartans Look to Grab First Big Ten Win Against Rival Wolverines

On Saturday night, the Lady Spartans will head into Ann Arbor, Mich. not just looking to attain bragging rights, but to try and snap a two-game losing streak against the Wolverines.

“After (last) weekend finished up, the only word that popped in my head was ‘execute,’ redshirt junior defender, Mary Kathryn Fiebernitz said. “For me, that’s kind of the word of the week. If we can execute the little things this week and take it into the game and execute what we need to do in that game, I think we will be fine.”

Michigan State has lost the last two meetings against the Wolverines and are 0-3-3 in Ann Arbor since 2000.

The senior class for the Spartans is only 1-2-1 against Michigan in the last four years and is trying to accomplish one of its goals this year by beating its rivals.

“Who wouldn’t want to go out with beating Michigan,” Fiebernitz said. “I want to do it for them. If I could do it all I would do it, but it’s huge and I think they are ready and they have the same mindset as I do.”

In order for the Spartans to defeat the Wolverines, a big key will be not giving up an early goal within the first 20 minutes of play, which Michigan State has only done once this season.

Another factor will be the play of freshman forward, Jamie Cheslik, who leads Michigan State with five goals.

“I am really excited. It’s definitely a feeling that I have never really had before,” Cheslik said. “It’s a big rivalry. Just going into the game I have to stay competent and strong and just be ready for physical battles and people getting into my head and stuff.”

The Wolverines’ only Big Ten loss came against Rutgers University, but their offensive output has been productive as they have scored 16 goals in their first 10 games. Eight of those goals have come from two players, redshirt freshman, Ani Sarkisian, who has four and sophomore, Nicky Waldeck, who had four.

“They come with a great deal of pressure,” head coach Tom Saxton said. “So it’s going to be staying composed when we have the ball and solving their pressure, and then I think there will be a lot of open space to get our attack going. We need to score some goals quite frankly.”

Brooks Laimbeer is the host of Corner Kick for Impact Sports.

Photo: David Defever/Impact Sports