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Rutgers men's soccer heads north to face Michigan State on Sunday

Senior midfielder Jackson Temple will look to avenge last year's loss to Michigan State this weekend. – Photo by Leigh Lustig

On Sunday, the Rutgers men’s soccer team will travel to East Lansing, Michigan, to take on Michigan State. The Scarlet Knights (6-2-5, 2-1-2) will look to build off of their midweek victory over Stony Brook and get a win in Big Ten competition.

Rutgers’ last match was a 2-0 win against the Seawolves (4-8-0, 2-4-0). Graduate student midfielder Pablo Avila scored for the Knights in the 9th minute to give them a 1-0 lead, and from there, Rutgers controlled the game.

Late in the game, senior forward MD Myers converted a penalty kick to give the Knights their 2nd goal of the game. The win marked Rutgers' second shutout of the season and sixth win on the year.

Freshman goalkeeper Ciaran Dalton has been strong between the sticks. He has a 72.2 save percentage and is allowing only 1.25 goals per game. He made four crucial saves against Stony Brook, including saving a penalty kick.

On the attacking side of the ball, Myers is having an incredible season. His 11 goals are tied for first in all of Division I men’s soccer, and his 25 points are tied for third. Senior midfielder Jackson Temple and junior midfielder Jason Bouregy both have five assists, which ties for them for the team lead. Temple is second on the team with 15 points.

These three players have helped the Knights average 2.31 goals per game and 15 shots per game. The program's 2.31 goals per game average lead the Big Ten, and the team has also taken the most shots in the conference.

On the other hand, the Spartans (5-5-2, 2-1-1) are a very balanced team. They are allowing opponents to score 1.58 goals per game, and they score 1.42 goals per game. Michigan State is only taking nine shots per game, and the team is allowing its opponents to take 15.6 shots per game.

On offense, Rutgers has to worry about Greyson Mercer. Mercer has 3 goals and two assists on the season. His 3 goals are tied for the team high.

Last time these two teams met, the Spartans won in double overtime 2-1. Michigan State outshot the Knights 20-19 in the win.

The game will kick off at 2 p.m. as Rutgers looks to avenge last year's loss.

“Always a really good team — their coach is excellent,” said head coach Jim McElderry about the Spartans. “They beat us here last year in overtime in a really tight game. That was ultra disappointing for us, so we feel like we owe them one a little bit … I am looking forward to it.”

For more updates on the Rutgers men's soccer team, follow @TargumSports on Twitter.

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