Spartans look to bounce back against Oakland and No. 19 Colorado

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MSU women’s soccer celebrates a goal. Aug.26, 2022 Photo Credit: Sarah Smith/WDBM

Luca Melloni, Sports Editorial Assistant

EAST LANSING — After suffering its first defeat of the season against No. 11 Arkansas, the Michigan State women’s soccer team returns to East Lansing to face Oakland University on Thursday and then No. 19 Colorado on Sunday, Sept. 11. 

The Spartans (4-1-1) visited the Razorbacks last Sunday and were on the short end of a 1-0 defeat. Arkansas was the first ranked opponent the Spartans have faced this season and it was a matchup head coach Jeff Hosler was looking forward to since the schedule was announced. 

Now, MSU faces two tough challenges as they enter the weekend. 

“Oakland is a team that moves the ball really well,” Hosler said in a press release. “If we do our job defensively, we should be able to hold territory a little better.” 

The Golden Grizzlies currently hold a 3-1-2 record and were defeated in their last game against Wake Forest University. 

Forward Alexa Sabbagh leads the Golden Grizzlies with two goals and an assist. She will be a goal-scoring threat that the Spartans will have to keep an eye out for during their encounter.

“A lot of their sequences end at Alexa Sabbagh’s feet, and that often results in a lot of solid goal-scoring moments,” Hosler said. 

At the opposite end, goalkeeper Noëmi Stadelmann from Arlesheim, Switzerland has only let two goals past her this season. Stadelmann has kept four clean sheets in six games, just like MSU’s Lauren Kozal.

After Thursday night’s game against Oakland, MSU will host PAC-12 powerhouse and No. 19 ranked Colorado (5-0-1) on Sunday. The Buffaloes have scored 13 goals in their past three games, making them a goal-hungry opposition coming into Sunday’s game.

The Spartans will face the Michigan Wolverines in Ann Arbor on Thursday before heading to East Lansing. 

Last season, the Buffaloes finished in seventh place in the PAC-12 conference and were led by junior forward Shyra James from Helix Charter High School in La Mesa, California. James currently has eight goals this season and has yet to play a full 90 minutes in a game. 

Kickoff against Oakland on Thursday is scheduled for 7 p.m., while Sunday’s match against No. 19 Colorado will start at 1 p.m.