PISCATAWAY, N.J. - Behind a pair of goals by junior forward DeJuan Jones, the No. 13 Michigan State men’s soccer team captured the Big Ten opener, 2-1, against Rutgers in Piscataway, New Jersey, on Friday night.
MSU Box Score vs. RU
With the win, Michigan State improves to 5-0-0 for the first time since 2007. The Spartans also captured their Big Ten opener for the second-straight season. Rutgers falls to 1-3-1 overall and 0-1 in league play. Overall, MSU improves to 3-0-1 against the Scarlet Knights.
“I thought we played not to lose on the road. We didn’t play with confidence on the ball, but I thought in the second half we did that. We still had control on some things in the first half, but we weren’t dangerous,” MSU head coach Damon Rensing said. “These Big Ten games are 90-minute games no matter if you are up 2-0 or down 2-0. These teams never give up.”
In the 49th minute, sophomore defender Michael Pimlott started the play with a dangerous pass from midield. Pimlott’s pass found the feet of junior forward DeJuan Jones, who beat Rutgers goalkeeper Rafael Pereira one-on-one to deliver the game’s first goal from about 12 yards out, firing the ball into the upper part of the net.
Jones continued showing his offensive skills in the second half. He started the play slipping the ball to Pimlott, who returned the favor dishing back to Jones. The junior found the back of the net to give MSU the 2-0 advantage in the 61st minute.
Despite being out-shot, 19-6, the Spartans maintained control for much of the season half. Junior goalkeeper Jimmy Hague was in search of his fifth-straight shutout, but the Scarlet Knights cut the lead to 2-1 after a Ryan Peterson penalty kick in the 82nd minute.
In the 89th minute, Hague made a clutch save to keep the score at 2-1 and preserve the Spartans’ B1G-opening win.
“I thought that Jimmy Hague was sensational tonight with a couple of saves that he had in key moments of the game,” Rensing added
Michigan State returns to the friendly confines of DeMartin Stadium, taking on always-tough Bowling Green under the lights on Wednesday, Sept. 13. Kick off is set for 7 p.m.
- The Spartans have started the season 5-0 for the first time since 2007. MSU allowed its first goal of the season on a penalty kick in the 82nd minute.
- DeJuan Jones leads the team in scoring with three goals and one assist for seven points. He has come in off the bench in all five games.
- Head coach Damon Rensing now has 95 career wins at MSU with a 95-58-22 record in nine seasons at MSU.