The Michigan State Spartans men’s (4-3-1) and women’s (6-0-2) soccer teams are well underway in their respective seasons and earning accolades of their own to go with the fellow “football” team on campus. We will be sure to bring you more in-depth coverage of how the seasons are going soon, but for now we have some exciting individual honors handed down this week to multiple players.
Michigan State redshirt junior goalkeeper Lauren Kozal earned Big Ten Goalkeeper of the Week honors this week following her shutout performance on the road at Indiana. Kozal’s five saves marked her fifth shutout while tending goal this season.
Weekly Awards Alert— Big Ten Soccer (@B1GSoccer) September 21, 2021
Lauren Kozal of @MSU_wsoccer is the #B1GWSoc Goalkeeper of the Week!
⚽ Led Spartans to a road win over Indiana with five saves
⚽ Recorded her fifth shutout of the season
️ https://t.co/KXv8LWKiXq pic.twitter.com/mNeM4TwuPW
Kozal ranks second among Big Ten goalkeepers currently in both save percentage (.900) and shutouts per game (.625), while she also ranks third in goals against average (.355). Kozal earned Goalkeeper of the Week for the first time in her career, and this marks the first MSU player to win the Goalkeeper of the Week honor since Reilley Ott earned the honors Sept. 4, 2018.
Also a key component of the 1-0 road win at Indiana was junior Reagan Cox who logged the full 90 minutes in the match, the second time this year she has played the full game.
Raegan Cox was honored this morning as part of the TopDrawerSoccer National Team of the week! ⚽️@TopDrawerSoccer @B1GSoccer @NCAASoccer— Michigan State Soccer (@MSU_wsoccer) September 21, 2021
MSU release: https://t.co/cNgYu61AvV
TDS release: https://t.co/i4w3LFMBlV pic.twitter.com/ZV7SWLZum2
Cox, a native of Muskegon, Michigan, had a key block in the first half while playing in the backfield as defender. Along with her teammates, Cox helped prove a tough force in ensuring a shutout victory over the Hoosiers. She was named to the Women’s Team of the Week for TopDrawerSoccer thanks to her performance and role anchoring the back line.
Senior forward Farai Mutatu was named Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week following his three goals, two in the second half that included a hat trick for the game winner, in a come from behind victory over Notre Dame last Tuesday, Sept. 14. The Spartans won the match in South Bend 4-3 after rallying from a 3-1 deficit at halftime.
Mutatu’s three goals at Notre Dame included the first hat trick by a Spartan since 2012. Jay Champan’s hat trick against No. 16 Indiana on Oct. 28, 2012 was the last time a Michigan State player managed the feat.
Mutatu not only led the Spartans in scoring in a win at Notre Dame, he also helped Michigan State in playing the full 110 minutes of regulation in a double overtime draw in Madison against the Wisconsin Badgers on Saturday. Mutatu logged one shot on goal in the match.
This marks the second career Offensive Player of the Week award for the native of Haslett, Michigan. Mutatu is also the last Spartan to win the Offensive Player of the Week honors, last bestowed on him Oct. 1, 2019.
The women’s team is next in action on Thursday night, Sept. 23, in a home match at DeMartin Stadium against the Wisconsin Badgers. The game starts at 7 p.m.
The men’s team is back in action Sunday, Sept. 26, in a home match at DeMartin Stadium against the Indiana Hoosiers at 3 p.m.