Overtime Heartbreak as Spartans Fall to Marquette, 2-1
Sept. 16, 2012
East Lansing, Mich. -- - Axel Sjoberg played the role of hero for No. 17 Marquette for the second game in a row, heading home the golden goal in the 108th minute to give the Golden Eagles a 2-1 victory over Michigan State in the second game of the Big Ten/BIG EAST Challenge on Sunday afternoon.
The Spartans drop their second straight contest - and third overtime decision - this season, and fall to 2-5-1 overall in 2012. Marquette maintains its unblemished record, improving to 7-0-0 on the year.
"It's tough - things can come down to a couple plays, and a couple calls. There's been a couple that haven't gone our way, but that's soccer," said head coach Damon Rensing. "Sometimes you need a little positive momentum, and we have to create some of that on our own.
"This team showed some character today, I was proud of that. Both teams played tough games on Friday night, then had to come back here less than 48 hours later. Then, we played the last 25 minutes [today] a man down. I think we have to continue some progress, but now we'll focus on Western Michigan on Friday."
Sjoberg's game-winner came off a corner play from the left side, as junior Bryan Ciesiulka took the corner and placed it square in the area for his teammate to head it home. The 6-foot-7 Sjoberg, who scored both goals against Michigan in a 2-1 victory on Friday, leapt to head the ball into the back of the net to give the visitors the victory.
The game was physical thoughout, as a total of four yellow cards (three for Marquette, one for the Spartans) were issued in the first 35 minutes of the game.
Things settled down from there in the first half, and Marquette got on the board in the 42nd minute. Paul Dillon crossed the ball in for senior Andy Huftalin, who headed the ball into the lower right side of the net for his third goal of the season.
The Spartans trailed by a goal at the intermission, but Montague tied the game for the Spartans in the 63rd minute. Ryan Thelen got the ball in the box for Adam Montague, who maneuvered around two defenders and launched a shot from 10 yards that found its mark.
Blake Skamiera was red-carded with 16:13 remaining in the game after a collision with Marquette's Paul Dillon. Dillon stayed on the field, but the Spartans were forced to play man down for the remainder of the game. Skamiera will also miss MSU's next contest, a non-league game against Western Michigan on Friday.
The teams battled through the remainder of regulation and the first overtime period, as the teams raced end-to-end in an effort to end the game in their favor. In the end, it was the visitors who prevailed, as the big freshman took advantage of his best chance of the day to end it for Marquette.
The Spartans will have that non-league game on Friday against Western Michigan at home. Kickoff at DeMartin Stadium is 5 p.m.
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