Sept. 18, 2013
WATCH: Game Highlights & Interviews
EAST LANSING, Mich. - The Michigan State men's soccer team defeated Bowling Green, 1-0 on Wednesday evening at DeMartin Stadium. It marks the fourth shutout for the Spartans in five games. With the victory, the Spartans are now 4-1-0, while the Falcons own a 1-3-2 record.
"I think our mentality was good from the start today," said head coach Damon Rensing. "We've got four wins and they've all been a shutout. I think that says something about our goalkeeping and more importantly, just team defense and our thought process to that. I think we've sold out in front of the box and it's been a team effort from a defensive standpoint, so I think that's good. I thought we set the tone and created chances in the first half. We were clearly the aggressor. Probably again unfortunate maybe not to be up more than a goal in the first half. Montague had a very good chance and a few others. We're a little thin right now with a few injuries, so I thought that caught up to us a little bit at the end of the game, but our guys dug in and our subs that came in gave us good minutes. All in all, it's a good result. You can look across college soccer and there is no easy game. This is a good Bowling Green team, so to come out 1-0, we're happy."
MSU started strong, putting pressure on the Falcons early. Not even five minutes into the game, two corner kicks from Sean Conerty created chances for the Spartans. He later sent in a shot that was set up by Tim Kreutz and saved by the Falcon keeper. Zach Bennett came up with a great save for the Spartans as the backline blocked some pressing shots from Bowling Green near the final third of the half.
After several opportunities for either team, Dewey Lewis and Montague drove down the field and cut a cross over to Kreutz who sent it passed the goalie on the left side, and put the Spartans up 1-0 in the 39th minute. It marks Kreutz' second goal in two games, fourth of his career.
With the pitch continuing to become aggressive to begin the second half, the Falcons kept up the pressure on MSU near the box, but the Spartans did not let up and collectively kept the ball out of the net. A Bowling Green attack came in full force, but Bennett kept making solid saves to hold off an equalizer. He nearly doubled his total saves on the season with eight on the day, a career high, including a key save with under 15 minutes left in the game as a Bowling Green surge nearly tied the game.
Making a statement off the bench, Jerome Cristobal served up two shots that were wide of the goal late in the final third to double his career totals. With time running out, Kreutz had a late shot on goal that was saved and Montague had a shot hit the post to keep the game 1-0.
In goal, Bennett earned his fourth shutout of the season, seventh of his career. He now owns a .895 Sv% and improved his GAA to 0.40.
After a weekend break, the Spartans will be back in action as they travel to Omaha, Neb., to face nationally-ranked Creighton on Tuesday, Sept. 24 at 7 p.m. ET.