Aug. 29, 2008
Spartan Sports Podcast
EAST LANSING, Mich. - The new home for Spartan soccer, DeMartin Stadium at Old College Field, opened for play with a bang Friday afternoon as Michigan State defeated St. Francis (Pa.), 4-0, in the second match of the MSU/Radisson Fall Classic.
Senior Doug DeMartin tallied two goals for the Spartans (1-0), with senior Zac Scaffidi and sophomore Spencer Thompson chipping in a goal each to help the cause. MSU spent most of the afternoon in St. Francis territory, firing 20 shots - 10 on goal - and only allowing the Red Flash (0-1) five shots.
MSU head coach Joe Baum said the team showed the way they are capable of playing, and fixed some of the mistakes made in the exhibition against Louisville to come out on top.
"I thought the team defense was very good - they (St. Francis) have some dangerous players. I thought our passing was as good tonight as it's been all fall. It's good to see us back doing the things that we do."
Scaffidi started the scoring midway through the first half, taking a well-placed pass from senior Ben Pirmann on a re-start and pushing it past St. Francis goalie Brad Williams to take the early lead.
The scoring would subside until the 65th minute, when DeMartin connected from just inside the box thanks to a long pass from Thompson to lead him there. The goal was DeMartin's fourth shot on goal for the afternoon, after his first three included two just wide of the net and one sent screaming off the crossbar.
Thompson added the fourth and final goal for MSU, scoring on a vertical pass from freshman Rubin Bega that found him cutting behind the defense to put another past Williams.
A combination of good ball control, which kept the Red Flash out of Spartan territory for most of the match, and two key saves from goalie Jeremy Clark helped leave St. Francis' scoring column empty.
Baum credits the defense for not allowing St. Francis any chances, and said that the confidence from the defensive side of the field transferred to offense, creating more opportunities for MSU.
"If they would have come out and scored a goal in the first ten minutes of the second half, and it would have been 1-1, we'd probably still be playing overtime. I knew that the next goal was critical to the match. I thought if we could go up 2-0, they would lose some of their spirit, but if they equalized, look out."
The Spartans return to action to cap off the MSU/Radisson Fall Classic at 1:30 p.m. Sunday afternoon against Vermont.