Aug. 18, 2011
East Lansing, Mich. - Freshman Gavin Hoy broke up a scoreless deadlock in the 64th minute for the home team as Oakland downed No. 19 Michigan State in an exhibition game on Thursday night. The Spartans were seeing their first external competition of the pre-season, and 23 different players saw time on the field in the exhibition tilt.
"It's nice to be able to put so many of our players into a game situation this early in the season," said head coach Damon Rensing, who is starting his third as the Spartan mentor. "In an exhibition, I think its more about focusing less on the result than season on the the process. Between returning players transitioning into new roles and freshmen transitioning to college soccer, these games become important. I think we got to see a lot, and we did some things well. We have been working on a lot of things that we are going to continue to work on, but there were certainly some bright spots. "
Oakland recently installed lighting on their soccer facility, and this was the Golden Grizzlies' first-ever game under the lights. "Tonight had a really great crowd and a great atmosphere - and there's a lot of credit that has to go to Oakland Associate AD Stacy Mosely for pulling together a great night," commented Rensing.
Redshirt senior captain Jeremy Clark made two saves in net for the Spartans and allowed the lone goal, while backup Bryce Dobbins relieved Clark after the score and made one save in the balance of the contest. Oakland keeper Mitch Hildebrandt made five saves and played the full 90 minutes.
Each team had 11 shots in the game, and MSU had a significant edge in corners, 8-1. Both teams were whistled for four yellow cards.
MSU will now ready for another exhibition this weekend at the Shindigz Soccer Festival in Ft. Wayne, Ind. MSU will take on Northern Illinios on Saturday.