Sept. 18, 2011
East Lansing, Mich. - The Spartan men's soccer team was on the rough end of a tough 1-0 loss to No. 22 Notre Dame on Sunday afternoon at DeMartin Stadium. The Spartans, now 1-5-1 overall, will look ahead to Big Ten play next weekend.
"I thought we had some great chances to tie up the game late - and even to take a 1-0 lead in the first half today," said head coach Damon Rensing, who has seen his team struggle to generate many goals this season, as all five losses are by a goal and two came in overtime. "I thought we played well, but we didn't get the result or much to show for it. I thought that there were two good teams, and Notre Dame managed the game very well. Kudos to Notre Dame, because they were very good today."
The loss snapped a two-game Spartan winning streak against the Irish. Notre Dame last earned a victory in the series back in 2008.
The teams were scoreless at the half, and Notre Dame got on the board in the 55th minute. Off a corner play, Adam Mena headed the ball, and Harrison Shipp buried it for his second goal of the season.
The Spartans had great opportunities in flurries, but perhaps none better with six minutes remaining in the contest, off a corner play. Twice the Spartans were able to get balls loose from the grasp of the keeper, but could not get their shots to find their mark.
The star of the day for MSU was keeper Jeremy Clark, who made several highlight-reel saves and finished with eight stops on the day. Rensing had nothing but praise for his senior co-captain. "Jeremy has been unbelievable," said the coach. "He has bided his time, playing behind Avery for three seasons. As a fifth-year senior, he's been so important for us. His play has been outstanding, and unfortunately, he's not had the personal recognition or the wins to show for it."
Will Walsh also had a big day in net, as the Irish keeper made five saves.
The Spartans trailed in shots (16-10) and shots on net (9-5), while Notre Dame also had a slight edge in corner kicks (5-3) and fouls (13-10).