In the last four seasons, the Spartans have gone 4-0-0 against the Boilermakers and have outscored Purdue 10-2.
The Spartans have been successful against the Boilermakers the last four seasons, but they are 5-8-1 against Purdue since 2000 and have been outscored 22-15.
Much like the Spartans, the Boilermakers are a young team with four seniors, five juniors, 11 sophomores and eight freshmen.
Purdue’s top goal scorer from last season, sophomore forward Maddy Williams, returns in 2014. Williams scored 10 goals last season.
The Boilermakers will play a weak non-conference schedule in 2014 as out of their seven games only one team finished inside the top 100 last season. Purdue opens Big Ten play with two difficult opponents, Penn State and Ohio State.
Ohio State University Buckeyes Oct. 16 4 p.m. DeMartin Stadium
Ohio State finished eighth in the Big Ten last year and went 10-7-3, but that has not discouraged the Buckeyes from loading up on non-conference opponents in 2014.
The first four games on the Buckeyes’ 2014 schedule consists of teams that finished in the top 25 at the end of the 2013 season and are in the top 25 in the first week of the 2014 coaches poll: Wake Forest University (21st), Duke University (22nd), University of North Carolina (fourth) and Virginia Tech (fifth).
The Spartans have gone 7-7-0 against the Buckeyes since 2000 and have done well against Ohio State at home, going 7-1-0 all-time.
The Buckeyes return their top goal scorer from last season, sophomore forward Nichelle Prince, who scored 13 goals last season.
Pennsylvania State University Nittany Lions Oct. 19 1 p.m. DeMartin Stadium
There is no question that the Nittany Lions are one of the more consistent and dominant teams in the country.
Since 2000, Penn State has made the NCAA Tournament all 14 years and have won more than 10 games each year. They made it to the national championship game in 2012 and have made it to the Elite Eight or better seven times since 2000.
In Big Ten play, the Nittany Lions were regular season champions for 14 years in a row from 1998 to 2012, and have won five Big Ten Tournament titles (1998, 2000, 2001, 2006 and 2008).
This season, Michigan State will play Penn State at home and are looking to end their four-game losing streak to the Nittany Lions.
All-time, the Spartans are 4-8-0 at home against the Nittany Lions. In their four home wins against Penn State, Michigan State has scored two or more goals. The Spartans’ last home win against the Nittany Lions was in 2009 when Michigan State scored an early goal in overtime to beat the Nittany Lions 3-2.University of Illinois Fighting Illini Oct. 24 8 p.m. Champaign, Ill.
The last time the Spartans won in Champaign, Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet’s epic love story on a famous ship had millions crying and the era of the “boy bands” was in full swing with the Backstreet Boys wanting everyone to “Quit Playing Games (With My Heart),” and those long-haired brothers in Hanson had the world MMMBopping.
Since 2000, Michigan State has beaten Illinois twice, with wins coming in 2008 in the Big Ten Tournament and during the regular season in 2002.
This is the third year in a row that Michigan State will have to travel to Champaign.
The Fighting Illini will return their leading goal scorer from last season, senior forward, Janelle Flaws, who scored 23 goals in 2013. Flaws was also tied for first in the country in goals scored in 2013.
Before Illinois begins their conference play in 2014, the Fighting Illini will play six non-conference opponents, two of which (Notre Dame and Louisville) finished in the top 30 last year and made the NCAA Tournament.
Northwestern University Wildcats Oct. 26 2 p.m. Evanston, Ill.
If there is one team that the Spartans play well against, it is the Wildcats. Since 2000, Michigan State is 10-3-1 and have outscored Northwestern 21-12.
In the past seven games in Evanston, Michigan State has gone 5-1-1.
As far as it goes for Northwestern, the Wildcats have not made the NCAA Tournament since 1998 and since 2000 they have had two seasons in which they have won 10 games (2008 and 2004).
Scoring goals was a major problem for the Wildcats last year as they were held scoreless in 10 of 19 games in 2013.
The Wildcats will play one exhibition game and six non-conference games this season. Their exhibition game will be against the University of Notre Dame who are 16th in the first coaches poll of 2014. In non-conference play, they will play Marquette University who are 15th in the 2014 coaches poll.Indiana University Hoosiers Oct. 31 7 p.m. Bloomington, Ind.
Similar to Illinois and Penn State, the Hoosiers have done well against the Spartans. They are 14-6-2 all-time and since 2000 have only lost twice to Michigan State at home.
The Spartans have lost the last two meetings against Indiana, but they have only been by one goal. The good news for Michigan State is that the last time they played in Bloomington, they beat the Hoosiers 2-1.
The Lady Hoosiers have only made the NCAA Tournament twice in the last 14 years (2007 and 2013) and they have been crowned Big Ten Tournament champions once in 1996.
Indiana will play one exhibition game and six non-conference games before the Big Ten season. The exhibition game will be against the University of Louisville, and their toughest non-conference game will be against Eastern Michigan University who won the MAC regular season in 2013.
Forward Lisa Nouanesengsy, the Hoosiers’ top goal scorer from last season, has graduated. Nouanesengsy scored 11 goals last season.
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All records and stats come from university athletics websites and ncaa.com
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Brooks Laimbeer is the host of Corner Kick for Impact Sports.
Photo: Jonathan Yales/Impact Sports