Stearns: Spartan Soccer offensive woes becoming a chronic problem

Rensing, players both frustrated about offensive woes as team drops match to Cornell

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Stearns: Spartan Soccer offensive woes becoming a chronic problem

Credit: MSU Athletic Communications

Credit: MSU Athletic Communications

Credit: MSU Athletic Communications

Credit: MSU Athletic Communications

Nathan Stearns, General Assignment Reporter

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EAST LANSING, Mich. – Two goals in four games. Say what you want about returning starters and high expectations, but right now, MSU soccer faces a harsh reality. 

They left their offense in the offseason and there appears to be no relief in sight.  Regardless of how this team looks on paper, an 0-2-2 record is not what anyone in East Lansing would have expected, especially after that special college cup run last  season.

Despite being ranked in the top twenty in the country, their ranking has not been backed by early season results -Sloppy execution and an overall disappointing offensive performance once again was the theme of the day against Cornell in a 2-1 overtime loss.

When asked about the poor record, Coach Rensing offered a rather blunt assessment of the situation.

“With being 0-2-2, we are obviously not excited about that,” said Rensing after the loss. “But things happen in life and things don’t always go the way you want.”

A lone bright spot for State this season has been goalie Hunter Morse. Despite doing all he can, he did admit that the lack of offensive support is a bit frustrating.

“It is frustrating,” said Morse. “But you just to keep going and it will eventually come like it did today.”

The Men’s soccer team is almost in the same analogous situation that the MSU football team finds themselves in. Defense can only carry you so far before you inevitably will need to execute on both sides of the ball to have a chance against the elite in college athletics. 

This defense for the Spartans is good enough to keep them in any game and help them squeak by lesser opponents. For this team however, mediocrity is simply not an option. 

Goal scorer Alaa Algahim echoed as much after the game, “It feels great (to score his first goal), but we wanted to win so it doesn’t really matter.”

After the first run to the college cup in fifty years, expectations for the green and white were rightly quite high. The season is still in its infancy and this team still has plenty of talent to make a deep run once again. 

With that being said, time is not on the side of the Spartans. Five games have now elapsed and state is still searching for that elusive first win. With a deeper look, it becomes even more concerning that MSU was unable to defeat Southern Illinois- Edwardsville and Florida Gulf Coast. 

Schools that should have served as a glorified scrimmage for the Spartans instead went toe to toe with the formlerly mighty green and white.

For those who are close to this team, the offensive woes are befuddling, but it does help  to have one of the best coaches in the business calling the shots for the green and white. 

Damon Rensing has proven his ability time and time again to maximize the talent that he is provided and put his players in the best possible situation to succeed. He will need to put together another marquee coaching run in order to ensure another successful MSU Spartan season.  

He mentioned how he likes this group, but also stressed the need to get better before the Dartmouth game.

“I really like this group and we will get back to the drawing board,” said Rensing. “We got a week to get better and trust me, we will be ready for Dartmouth.”

The Spartans will have a few days to really reflect on what team they want to be before they head out to the Northeast to visit New Hampshire. It may be a bit premature to say that the season is at an early crossroads, but without more offensive execution, this season will be a blemish on an otherwise impeccable overall coaching record for Rensing. 

For the Spartans the scenario is simple, start scoring and return to the form that this team expects to be at, or continue on the current trajectory and wonder in time how such a talented team produced such disappointing results on a once promising season.

Twitter: @NathanStearns9

Emails: stearnsn@msu.edu