Sept. 15, 2013
EAST LANSING, Mich. - The Michigan State soccer men's soccer team defeated Marquette on Sunday, 2-0, in Milwaukee, Wis. MSU earned its third shutout of the season against the Golden Eagles, who was ranked No. 16 nationally by TopDrawerSoccer.com and was receiving votes in the NSCAA poll. With the win, the Spartans improved to 3-1-0, while the Golden Eagles are 3-2-1.
"I thought we played really well today, especially in the first half," said Spartan head coach Damon Rensing. "We were unfortunate to only be up one goal at halftime and to our guys credit, they kept pushing in the second half and kept it going and went up 2-0 by a great ball by Sean Conerty. I thought we ended sitting in a little bit too early and to Marquette's credit, they put some pressure on us. They are very dangerous on corner kicks, but our guys welcomed the task and dealt with some very tough scenarios on restarts. I thought the guys were really focused today. We only had one job to do and anytime you can win in the road, it's huge."
MSU came out strong, with an early chance coming from Jay Chapman from the top of the box that was saved by the Marquette keeper. However, Chapman didn't let up, as he set up a pass to Tim Kreutzwho tucked it into the net in the 35th minute to put MSU on the board first. It was Kreutz' first goal of the season, and third of his career.
The Spartans kept up the momentum in the second half as Sean Conerty scored off a cross from Brent McIntoshin the 51st minute to give Michigan State a 2-0 lead over the Golden Eagles. Conerty is tied for the team lead with two goals through four games this season.
"Fatai (Alashe) stepped in and did a very good job along with Ryan Thelen, Andrew Herr and Zach Bennettin goal," said Rensing.
Alashe stepped in for Kevin Cope to help the Spartans and push for a win. To balance the offensive attack, Ryan Keener kept a Marquette goal out of the net, laying his body on the line to keep it 2-0. Goalkeeper Zach Bennetttook away a dangerous opportunity for a Marquette goal off a free kick and punched another cross out of the goal near the beginning of the second half. He had five saves on the night and earned his third shutout of the season, and sixth of his career. Bennett currently leads the Big Ten in goals against average at 0.50.
The Spartans will be back in action on Wednesday, Sept. 18 as they host Bowling Green at DeMartin Stadium at 5 p.m.