Michigan State Athletics: 5 best things that happened in 2023

As the year comes to a close, it's a good time to reflect on the past 365 days. While Michigan State has had its share of heartbreak, and sorrow, and hopelessness, there have been some bright spots.
Champions Classic: Duke v Michigan State
Champions Classic: Duke v Michigan State / Michael Hickey/GettyImages
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Minnesota v Michigan State
Minnesota v Michigan State / Mark Cunningham/GettyImages

3. The accomplishments of the non-revenue sports

While they may not get the same shine as the big programs, plenty of other sports achieved major accomplishments in 2023. The women’s cross-country team took home a Big Ten title as did the Women’s soccer team who also made the program’s first Sweet 16. The women’s CC team also won the Spartan Invitational and the Eastern Michigan University Fall Classic.

The team also followed up their Big Ten title with a third-place showing at the NCAA Great Lakes Regional, earning a berth in the NCAA Championships. The team finished 16th in the nation while Big Ten women’s cross-country runner of the year Katie Osika finished 30th in the nation.

The women’s soccer team finished the season with a 7-1-2 conference record, but more importantly, had two wins in the NCAA tournament, including an upset of the 4-seeded Harvard Crimson to make the Sweet 16. The highlight of the individual awards is Justine Gaynor being named an academic All-American.

 On an individual scale, Men’s tennis players Max Sheldon and Ozan Baris won the ITA Fall National Title in doubles over Old Dominion in November. It is the first such title in MSU history and a major accomplishment for the junior (Sheldon) and sophomore (Baris). On a club level, the MSU dodgeball team took home the 2023 National Collegiate Dodgeball Association tournament title which was covered back in April.

It doesn’t take any less work or dedication to win a conference in a sport other than football or basketball. These student-athletes may even have a harder job trying to juggle sports schedules and school without the luxury of using a plane to get to a game or match. To the teams who accomplished their goals in 2023, congratulations. Another big congratulations to the 150 student athletes for making the academic All-Big Ten list.