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Michigan State University Student Radio

Impact 89FM | WDBM-FM

Michigan State University Student Radio

Impact 89FM | WDBM-FM

Michigan State University Student Radio

Impact 89FM | WDBM-FM

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Eagle Spirit dancer Migizii Kwe dances with the audience at this years East Lansing Art Festival. Photo credit: Samantha Ku/WDBM
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PREVIEW: Michigan State women’s soccer looks to build off of historic 2022 season

The+MSU+womens+soccer+team+huddles+together%2F+Photo+Credit%3A+MSU+Athletic+Communications%0A%0A
The MSU women’s soccer team huddles together/ Photo Credit: MSU Athletic Communications

EAST LANSING — As Michigan State women’s soccer goes through final preparations for the 2023 season, the Spartans look to continue their recent success under third-year head coach Jeff Hosler.

The reigning Big Ten regular season champions have high expectations in 2023. The Spartans are ranked No. 17 in the United Soccer Coaches Preseason Poll, and No. 19 in the National Poll for the first time in program history.

“We expect to be in that poll week in and week out,” head coach Jeff Hosler said. “I think it shows the respect that the coaches have for what we did last year and the direction we’re taking this thing.”

MSU’s historic 2022 season resulted in a 17-3-3 record, a Big Ten regular season championship, and reaching the second round of the NCAA tournament for the third time in program history. 

Michigan State will try to replace several key players from its 2022 roster, as forward Lauren DeBeau and goalkeeper Lauren Kozal were selected by Portland Thorns SC in the 2023 NWSL Draft in January.

However, multiple impact players are returning for 2023. Defender Raegan Cox and midfielders Justina Gaynor and Emerson Sargeant are all back for the reigning Big Ten champions.

Raegan Cox returns as a graduate student for the Spartans and was the anchor of the best defense in the Big Ten a season ago. The All-Big Ten selection played in 22 matches and amassed over 1,600 minutes played.

In the offseason, MSU brought in 15 newcomers – 10 of whom are freshmen, along with five transfers.

Replacing Big Ten Goalkeeper of the Year Lauren Kozal won’t be easy, but Hosler hopes to have another one in the pipeline by bringing in United Soccer Coaches Second Team All-American Kaitlyn Parks from Wake Forest.

Hosler also added three senior transfers in forward Mackenzie Anthony, and midfielders Alex Hargrave and Gabby Mueller.

“There is incredible depth and ability in each position group and they all seem to have the right mentality about embracing their roles with the team, even as they change from match to match or week to week,” Hosler said. “With so many new faces, objective number one is to bring everyone together and be on the same page.”

Michigan State will face two top-10 ranked opponents in the United Soccer Coaches Preseason poll, with home games against No. 3 Notre Dame on Sept. 3 and No. 10 Penn State on Oct. 1. MSU’s non-conference slate includes matchups against Bowling Green, who won the MAC title in 2021, and Dayton, which posted a 16-4-1 record in 2022.

The Spartans begin their 2023 season on Thursday, Aug. 17 at DeMartin Stadium against Cincinnati at 7:30 p.m.

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About the Contributor
Jay DeCoster
Jay DeCoster, Sports Editorial Assistant
Jay is a senior studying Mediated Communications at Michigan State. He joined Impact in September of 2021 as a volunteer. Jay is the Michigan State Football & women's soccer beat reporter for the Impact sports department. His interests include supporting his favorite Chicago sports teams, and golfing in the summer. "If you got a dream, chase it, 'cause a dream won't chase you back" - Cody Johnson

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