Spartans Drop 1-0 Decision to UNH in Double Overtime
Aug. 26, 2012
WATCH: Men's Soccer Highlights
East Lansing, Mich - Michigan State's men's soccer team fell in a double-overtime heartbreaker, 1-0, to New Hampshire on Sunday afternoon at DeMartin Stadium. A free kick for the Wildcats from eight yards out in the 103rd minute was the difference in the game, scoring on just their third shot on net in the contest.
The game-winner came in the 103rd minute of play, as a foul was whistled against the Spartans as they tried to defend a near-breakaway. The officials spotted the indirect kick a yard back of the penalty-kick line, and MSU lined up along the goal line to defend. Josh Bronner took the kick and rolled it back to Jordan Thomas, who lifted the ball over the wall of Spartan defenders and into the top netting for the golden goal.
"The tone that we came out with was good - I thought that we created offensive chances, and we didn't really give up many," said head coach Damon Rensing after the tough loss. "The real difference for us is that we haven't scored in two games, and that's what has hurt us. I thought that we've been pretty good defensively.
"I don't know that there's a ton that we need to change tactically, from an offensive standpoint," continued Rensing. "We certainly created our chances, and that's what you look to do. We have to stay positive, and hopefully once one goes in, that confidence rises and more goals follow. "
The Spartans held the edge in every statistical category save for the final score; MSU outshot their visitors 19-7, had nine corner kicks to the Wildcats' 2, and had seven shots on net to UNH's three. However, a significant amount of near-misses - particularly in the second half and overtime - spelled doom for MSU on the afternoon. In the overtime periods alone, Fatai Alashe had two good looks that sailed wide left, and Parker Seymour had a shot that went over the crossbar.
Late in the second half, Michigan State was picking up its intensity and looked to settle the game in regulation. In the 53rd minute, Domenic Barone's header was saved by keeper Travis Worra. The visiting Wildcats had a couple chances in the 58th minute, as Clint Caso had a shot Jordan Thomas headed netward and was punched over the goal cage. On the ensuing corner kick, Gustav Nilsson's shot was nabbed by Bryce Dobbins out of midair to end the threat.
Caso had a good-looking shot sail high over the cage in the 68th minute, but that was close to the last great chance for UNH in those final minutes. Barone had two good looks in the final five minutes of regulation - a shot that went just left, and a free kick 20 yards out that he lifted over the crossbar with just 20 ticks remaining on the clock.
MSU falls to 0-1-1 on the year, while New Hampshire evens its opening-weekend record at 1-1 overall.
The Spartans will play mid-week at Bowling Green (Wednesday) before hosting No. 1 Connecticut at DeMartin Stadium next Monday.
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