Sept. 30, 2012
East Lansing, Mich. - Eric Weberman scored the golden goal for Northwestern in the 113th minute to post a 2-1 double-overtime victory over MSU in the Spartans' Big Ten opener. MSU limited their opponents to just two shots on goal on the day, but were forced to play man-down for the final third of the contest. MSU falls to 3-6-1 overall and starts Big Ten play with an 0-1 record, dropping its third double-overtime contest of the season. Defending Big Ten regular-season and Tournament champion Northwestern evens its conference record at 1-1, and improves to 7-1-2 on the year.
"It's the third overtime loss for us this season, but two of them came with us playing a man down," said head coach Damon Rensing. "In all, it comes down to a couple of plays, and obviously we didn't deal with a couple things well, and Northwestern did. I thought our guys dealt with being man down fairly well, but everyone gets tired. I thought we created a couple of chances today despite being man down."
Northwestern's game-winner materialized early in the second overtime period. Grant Wilson had the ball even with the top of the box on the right sideline, and passed off to Weberman at the top of the box. Weberman left-footed his shot into the bottom right corner of the net, just out of reach of a diving Bryce Dobbins for the game-winner.
On the day, Northwestern had the edge in shots, (11-6) and corners (4-1). Tyler Miller made three saves on the afternoon in picking up his seventh win of the season.
The Spartans got on the board in the 21st minute. Fatai Alashe freed a ball inside the box, took a touch, and sent a sharp-angled shot from 12 yards out which found it's target in the left-side netting. Adam Montague set up Alashe on the play to earn the assist.
The Wildcats tied the game in the 75th minute. On a scramble in front of the net, Jay Chapman was whistled for a handball in the box. He headed to the bench with the red card, and Chris Ritter lined up and converted the ensuing penalty kick. It was his fourth marker of the season.
Forced to play down a man for the balance of the contest, the Spartans had to tighten up and play a more conservative game. With an injury-shortened bench, MSU started to show signs of fatigue, but held strong defensively as the team battled through the remainder of regulation and the first overtime. Despite the manpower disadvantage, the Spartans held the Wildcats to just the one shot on goal - the penalty kick - through the opening 100 minutes of play.
In the 113th minute, the Spartans surrendered their second shot on goal, which led to Weberman's heroics. It was MSU's third overtime loss of the season, all coming in the second overtime period.