EAST LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – For the first time in program history, the Michigan State women’s soccer team opened the conference portion of its schedule as the reigning Big Ten champs.

It was a historic season last year for the Spartans, and with Jeff Hosler now in year number three as head coach, this is a different team, who has the same goal of winning the Big Ten title.

“It’s a new script,” Hosler said on the 2023 season. “It’s an opportunity to start with a clean slate. We had a pretty good non-conference schedule, but as we saw at Ohio State, that was their best game of the year.”

“We’re going to get everybody’s best as we have through non-conference, but that’s the situation we want to be in. We want to be respected that way. We want to see everyone’s best, get their best shots,” Hosler added.

One thing Hosler has brought to the program is the idea of not having a captain.

He likes the idea of everyone on the players becoming leaders and not having to rely on a single person to lead.

“It’s allowed the whole group to settle in a little bit better for themselves,” Hosler said. “We’re through half of our regular season games already, the season flies by and people are now even more comfortable with what different leadership roles they can demonstrate. Whether that’s being a more vocal leader, always bringing the work ethic every day, being supportive of others and connecting with them.”

On Sunday, September 24, the Spartans defeated Wisconsin, 1-0, for their first win in Madison since 1999. Another example of how the program has taken huge strides since Hosler took over.