Late Henderson Goal Gives MSU 3-2 Win
East Lansing, Mich. -- - Cody Henderson's goal and assist - including the game-winner in the 86th minute - gave the Michigan State men's team a 3-2 victory at Providence on Sunday afternoon. The Spartans snapped a two-game skid and improve to 2-3-1 overall with the win.
The Spartans had struggled to create offense in their first five games of the season, finding themselves in low-scoring defensive battles, and several times creating twice the offensive chances of their opponent. Each of their losses are by a 1-0 margin.
However, today, MSU was able to generate not only scoring chances, but was able to see the fruits of their labors as three balls found their way into the back of the net. Henderson had a goal and an assist - his first points of the season, as well as Nick Wilson and Kyle Rutz getting their first points of the year. It was Henderson's strike with four minutes remaining that allowed the Spartans to gain their second victory of the season.
Henderson's game-winner came off a long throw-in. The keeper was able to get a hand on it and punched it to the back post. Brent McIntosh corralled the ball and found Henderson, who curled it in from about 25 yards for the Spartan victory.
Both Keith Jecewiz and Marcus Ugarte finished their day with a goal and an assist each for the Friars, who fall to 1-4-1 overall on the season.
"I thought we had a much better mentality today," said head coach Damon Rensing. "Providence has some very dangerous players, and I thought that today we showed grit and togetherness. I thought that even though we lost a lead twice today, we stuck with it and showed some resolve.
"I'm happy for those three guys who scored," continued the head coach. "All three of them have trained hard and had to wait for their turn, so to speak. All of them took advantage of their opportunity to play and came up big for us today."
The Spartans owned a 2-1 lead at halftime. Just four minutes into the game, Kyle Rutz potted his first goal of the season. His left-footed boot from 21 yards out put the Spartans on the board, with assists going to Cody Henderson and Adam Montague. Montague had a bid for a goal of his own in the ninth minute, but his header sailed just over the crossbar.
Providence scored in the 13th minute. Brian Grisell passed into the box for Marcus Ugarte, and his low shot beat a diving Bryce Dobbins for the Friar score.
The Spartans took a 2-1 lead into the intermission. Just after Nick Wilson came into the game for Montague, he scored his first of the season. The Spartans had a free kick, which was taken by Ryan Thelen. Ryan Keener knocked it down, and Wilson put it into the back of the net. His score came in the 41st minute.
Jecewiz knotted the score for the home team in the 50th minute, with Ugarte picking up the assist on the play.
The Spartans held an 11-10 edge in shots, with a 7-5 advantage in shots on goal. MSU one more corner kick than their hosts (3-2), but one less foul (14-15). MSU was issued three yellow cards in the match: to Tim Kreutz, Fatai Alashe, and Ryan Keener.
The Spartans will be back in action on Friday, when they travel to South Bend to kick off the Big Ten/BIG EAST Challenge. The Spartans will tangle with Notre Dame on Friday evening at 7 p.m. before hosting Marquette next Sunday at DeMartin Stadium.
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