Spartans, Wildcats Draw In Big Ten Opener
Sept. 24, 2011
East Lansing, Mich. - Michigan State (1-5-2, 0-0-1) opened Big Ten Conference play on Saturday evening with a 1-1 deadlock with Northwestern at Lakeside Field in Evanston, Ill. Jeremy Clark was once again MSU's rock, as he turned away five shots to keep the Spartans in the game.
"I don't think we're happy with the result, giving up late goal," admitted head coach Damon Rensing. "All in all, a tie on the road is not a bad deal in the Big Ten - but being that close to having a win is tough.
"If you look a little deeper into it, I thought we performed well," continued Rensing. We were dealt some adversity, played with lots of character, and we fought until the end. Overall, I was very proud of our guys."
Adam Montague tally gave the Spartans a 1-0 lead midway through the second half. In the 58th minute, Ryan Keener was assessed a red card, putting the Spartans down for the balance of the game. Montague's tally four minutes later provided a large lift for MSU; the play was a free kick from the right side, and Mark Barone left-footed the kick netward. Montague got his head on it and put the ball into the right-side netting. It was the first collegiate tally for the talented frontrunner.
The Spartans were once again buoyed by the play of the senior captain Clark, who made impressive back-to-back saves late in the game to keep Northwestern off the board. He made an impressive one-handed diving save to his left to stop a Reed Losee shot, then punched away another Wildcat attempt moments later off a corner kick.
The Wildcats finally got an equalizer with just 2:43 remaining in regulation. Scott Lakin provided the service from the left side outside the 18, and Kyle Schickel scored off the volley. It was the first goal of the season for Schickel, and just the second goal scored in the second half for the Wildcats all season.
The teams battled through the remainder of regulation and the first overtime period without a score. The heavy rain began to fall as the teams took the field for the second overtime, and despite some late chances for the Wildcats, they could not mount a threat and the teams settled on the deadlock.
The Wildcats outshot MSU 14-3 and had a 6-2 edge in shots on net. Northwestern had 14 corners to the Spartans two, but MSU committed just nine fouls to the Wildcats 18.
MSU returns to East Lansing for a mid-week game against Illinois-Chicago. Gametime is 4 p.m. on Tuesday at DeMartin Stadium.
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