The Ramblers are 3-11-2 all-time against the Spartans and have only won once when playing in East Lansing.
To add to the team’s struggles, Loyola have gone 23-46-8 in the past four seasons, and by record, are the worst team on the Spartans’ schedule this season.
In 2014, the Ramblers will face a few tough opponents whose combined records the last fours seasons have at least 10 more wins than Loyola: University of Wisconsin, Western Michigan University, University of Illinois Chicago and Northwestern University.
The team returns their leading goal scorer from the 2013 season, senior forward-midfielder Brian Bement, who scored eight goals for the Ramblers.University of Maryland Terrapins Sept. 19th 7:30 p.m. College Park, Md.
The Spartans open up their Big Ten play against the Terps and what a match-up to start their Big Ten season.
The Terps have gone 70-13-11 in the last four years and have only lost six games on their home field. Three of the losses have come during the regular season, while the other three have come in either the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament or in the NCAA Tournament.
If there are two positives that Michigan State can take from this, it is that the Terps have conceded a combined 20 goals in those six losses at home, and that the Spartans defeated the Terps in Maryland in 2010, 4-3, in front of crowd of 4,451 people.
Maryland will have another strong schedule for the 2014 season, in which they will be playing 11 teams who made the 2013 NCAA Tournament: Akron University, University of Louisville, University of Maryland Baltimore County, United States Naval Academy, Michigan State University, University of Wisconsin, Georgetown University, Northwestern University, Coastal Carolina University, Pennsylvania State University and Indiana University.
This season the Terps are without their leading goal scorer and the top goal scorer in the 2013 NCAA season, forward Patrick Mullins, who was drafted by the New England Revolution in the 2014 MLS Draft.
Sophomore midfielder, Michael Sauers, is the top returning goal scorer from the 2013 team. Sauer’s scored five goals for the Terps last season.Bowling Green State University Falcons Sept. 23rd 7 p.m. Bowling Green, Ohio
The Falcons have gone a combined 27-33-15 the last four seasons and have struggled to find their way in the Mid-American Conference, a conference that has been dominated by Akron University.
The Spartans are 19-16-6 all-time against the Falcons, with the Falcons last win coming in 2012. Prior to the 2012 season the Spartans had not lost to the Falcons since Sept. 2001.
The Falcon’s 2014 schedule features two teams that made the 2013 NCAA Tournament: Michigan State University and Akron University. The University of Michigan, Ohio State University and Western Michigan are a few of the other tougher teams on the Falcon’s schedule.
Ryan Comiskey and Anthony Grant, who scored a combined 10 goals for the Falcons last season, have moved on and graduated from Bowling Green. Senior midfielder Danny Baraldi is the highest returning goal scorer with three goals last season.Rutgers University Scarlet Knights Sept. 28 1 p.m. DeMartin Stadium
The Spartans will host the Scarlet Knights in their second conference game of the year, and it will be the first time that both of these programs will face each other.
Since 2000, Rutgers has made the NCAA Tournament three times: 2001, 2003 and 2006. The Scarlet Knights won more than 12 games only once when the team went 17-5-3 in 2001.
The most memorable seasons in the program’s history came in 1989, 1990 and 1994 when the Scarlet Knights made deep runs in the NCAA Tournament. In 1989 and 1994, the team reached the Final Four, and then in 1990 the team lost to UCLA in the national championship game.
The Scarlet Knights have one of the easier non-conference schedules in the Big Ten having to only play two teams who made the NCAA Tournament last season: University of Pennsylvania and Bradley University.
The leading goal scorer from last season, forward Kene Eze (eight goals) has graduated and was drafted in the 2014 MLS Draft by Toronto FC.Ohio State University Buckeyes Oct. 4 7 p.m. Columbus, Ohio
The Buckeyes all-time record versus Big Ten opponents is 83-110-11, and against the Spartans they are 18-24-2 all-time.
Although the Spartans have a better all-time record against the Buckeyes, the past 13 years have been a struggle.
Since 2000, Ohio State is 8-4-2 against Michigan State and of those four wins, only one has come in Columbus, Ohio.
In 2014, the Buckeyes will play eight teams during the regular season who made the NCAA Tournament last year. Those teams include: Elon University, Akron University, University of Maryland, University of Wisconsin, Pennsylvania State University, Indiana University, Northwestern University and University of Louisville.
The Buckeyes return their top goal scorer from last year, sophomore forward Danny Jensen, who scored three goals last season.Akron University Zips Oct. 7 4 p.m. DeMartin Stadium
The Zips have owned the Spartans the 37 times the two teams have met.
Michigan State is 10-25-2 all-time against Akron and they are 5-13-0 at home against the Zips.
Akron has owned the Mid-American Conference. The men’s soccer program has not lost a MAC game since 2007 and have won eight consecutive MAC regular season championships.
In 2013, the Zips made the NCAA Tournament and finished No. 22 in the country at the end of the 2013 season.
Akron will play five teams during the 2014 regular season that made the NCAA Tournament last year: Pennsylvania State University, Michigan State University, Wake Forest University, University of Southern Florida and the University of New Mexico, who made the Final Four last year.
The top four goal scorers from the 2013 Zips team will be gone this season because of graduation. Sophomore midfielder, Adam Najem, returns as the top leading goal scorer with four goals last season.University of Wisconsin Badgers Oct. 11 2 p.m. DeMartin Stadium
The Spartans are 11-22-4 all-time against the Badgers and are 5-7-2 all-time at home against them, but Wisconsin’s inconsistency may play into Michigan State’s favor.
The last four years have been an up and down ride for the Badgers. In 2011 and 2013 the team had records over .500, but in 2010 and 2012, the team’s record was under .500.
If the trend continues, Wisconsin will be in for a long season this year as the team faces nine teams who made the NCAA Tournament last season: Creighton University, Marquette University, Georgetown University, Michigan State University, University of Maryland, Pennsylvania State University, Indiana University and University of Notre Dame.
Last year’s top goal scorer, midfielder-forward Nick Janus, who scored nine goals, will be gone for the 2014 season. The team’s second leading goal scorer, senior midfielder-forward Jacob Brindle, who scored eight goals in 2013, will be back.
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All records and stats came from university athletic websites and ncaa.com.
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Brooks Laimbeer is the host of Corner Kick for Impact Sports
Photo: Jonathan Yales/Impact Sports