Ohio State Wins Tight Battle, 2-1
OSU 2, MSU 1
Oct. 2, 2011
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East Lansing, Mich. - Michigan State suffered another tough loss on Sunday, falling 2-1 to visiting Ohio State at DeMartin Stadium. All the scoring in the game came in the opening 15 minutes, but both teams generated chances throughout the match. For the Spartans, they fall to 2-6-2 overall and 0-1-1 in the Big Ten; it is their ninth game this season that was settled by a goal or less. Ohio State improves to 6-4-1 overall and 2-0-0 in the Big Ten Conference.
The Buckeye win extends OSU's winning streak to six games in the all-time series, which is led by MSU, 22-17-2. MSU's last win in the series came back in 2005. For the second straight season, the Spartans fall to OSU by a 2-1 score.
Chris Gomez headed in a rebound off a free kick in the eighth minute to give the Buckeyes an early 1-0 lead. The free kick was awarded just outside the 18 when Chris Hegngi was taken down just outside the box. Omar Vallejo took the kick, which was saved by MSU keeper Jeremy Clark on a great effort. The rebound came out to the left of the keeper, and Gomez headed it into the far-side netting.
The Spartans got an equalizer just three minutes later. Mark Barone launched a long kick from the left side into the box on a restart, and Montague was able to finish it with a soft volley into the left corner of the net. It was his second goal of the season.
The Spartans had a great chance to go ahead in the 14th minute, as a beautiful lead pass from Garrett Back to Cyrus Saydee drew the senior just a step offsides. The missed opportunity stung even worse less than 30 seconds later, as Chris Hegngi's shot eluded the outreached grasp of Clark at the other end. Sebastian Rivas had the helper on the junior's sixth goal of the season.
Coming out of the break, the Spartans looked to be aggressive in the offensive third, and Rubin Bega had a beautiful chance in the 53rd minute. He picked up the ball on the left side, dribbled to the 18, eluded two defenders, and sent a low shot to the right side of the net which required Matt Lampson to make a fantastic save to keep the Buckeyes ahead on the scoreboard. Bega had another shot less than two minutes later, but Lampson got a hand on that as well.
While the second half featured less scoring, fans got to see just as many if not more scoring chances at both ends. The Spartans pressed throughout, and got five shots on net in the first 35 minutes, including three from the foot of Bega.
With just under six minutes remaining, Clark did a nice job breaking up a two-on-one by Ohio State, with Chris Hegngi going in and taking a shot from 10 yards. In the final five minutes, the Buckeyes had the better of play, and kept trying to put the game out of reach, the Spartan defense, however, hung in and kept OSU from threatening other than the close call by Hegngi that was saved by Clark.
Both goalies were pivotal for their teams today - Jeremy Clark made seven saves, one off his career best set against Notre Dame back on Sept. 18. Matt Lampson, the First Team All-Big Ten keeper from a year ago, made eight saves in his end.
The Spartans return to action on Tuesday to continue a four-game homestand, as they host Wisconsin-Milwaukee at 4 p.m. Michigan State will return to action in the Big Ten next Sunday, hosting No. 19 Penn State in the conclusion of the homestand.