Spartans Earn Sixth Shutout Over Illinois-Chicago, 2-0
Oct. 1, 2013
EAST LANSING, Mich. - Snapping a six-game winning streak for Illinois-Chicago, the Michigan State men's soccer team shutout the Flames, 2-0 in Chicago, Ill., on Tuesday evening. Earning their sixth shutout of the season, the Spartans improved their 2013 record to 6-1-1 in their last game before the Big Ten slate opens with Northwestern on Sunday. Adam Montague and Dewey Lewis each scored their second goal of the season in the second half to blank UIC and bring their five-game consecutive shutout run to a halt.
"We talked about being patient, but not casual," said head coach Damon Rensing. "UIC is very good defensively and they are good at turning defense into offense. When they transition to offense, it can be dangerous. But I thought we moved the ball quickly, got it into our forward speed. I thought we kept patience. It was a good college soccer game which is to be expected from a good UIC team who was 6-2 and hadn't given up a goal in five games with a six-game winning streak. It's a great team win.
"I think while they're different teams, there are a lot of similarities to Northwestern. They don't give a lot of things up, they're very organized. We're going to have be patient again, but not casual with the ball. So I think it might transition very well from this game into Sunday's."
"I was really happy for Adam because he's been a huge part of the streak we're on, but doesn't really have a lot of stats to show it," Rensing said. "He's played very well from a leadership role and work rate. With one of our captains, Kevin (Cope) out, I was happy for Adam. It was a well-deserved goal. We wouldn't have our record without him and what he's done."
Illinois-Chicago came back firing with two back-to-back shots on goal and Bennett coming up with key saves for the Spartans. MSU stifled the UIC attack as Dewey Lewis volleyed home a rebound off a corner kick from Ryan Thelen to give Michigan State at 2-0 lead in the 74th minute. It is the second-career goal for the freshman Spartan.
"Dewey executed what we asked him to do when a ball comes out on a clearance," said Rensing. "If you just keep it hard and low on the net, good things will happen. That's what he did. It was crowded and tough play for the keeper; we didn't know if he was going to deflect it or not and the ball just went in."
"I'm glad he got some recognition because he never once asked, `why do I have to go back there?' It was always about the team," Rensing said. "When he made that switch, he just went back, no questions and just performed. He did his job and never complained. He's done a very good job along with Ryan Keener back there. That's not an easy thing to do. With that position, there is a lot of pressure. It could be a mistake defending or a mistake on the ball and now you've cost your team the game. He's been very calm and collected. He's handled it very well."
"I'm happy for Jay," said Rensing. He's certainly maturing as a player from last year to this year. He's always had some special skills, but I think he's also doing a lot of things that are great defending that are helping us win games as a team. When you see these individual awards come about, it's basically due to team performance. The guys get recognized individually, but it's really about the team. Those guys have both done things that have helped the team and that's translated to some individual recognition."
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