Oct. 9, 2005
EAST LANSING, Mich. - The Michigan State men's soccer team beat the Ohio State Buckeyes, 2-0, on Sunday in its Big Ten home opener to improve its record to 4-3-4 overall, and 1-1-1 in Big Ten Play. With the loss, OSU fell to 6-5-1 and 1-1-0 in the conference.
"When Jason (Tillman) plays as solid as he did and we finish our chances we are a very good team," said head coach Joe Baum. "As a team we handled situations without panicking or making mistakes. We've had some trouble this year finishing, but today when we got chances we finished them, and when we do that we are going to win games. Every Big Ten game is important and today was no different. It was a hard fought game."
The Spartans struck first, just over 31 minutes into the first half, when a hand-ball was called on Ohio State, giving senior co-captain Ryan McMahen (Munster, Ind.) a free kick just outside the box. McMahen curved the ball around the wall of Buckeye players and past the OSU netminder to put State up, 1-0.
"That's something I practice everyday," said McMahen. "I've had several chances in games so far this season and I feel comfortable with the ball on free kicks."
Spartan netminder Jason Tillman (Brighton) made six saves in the MSU victory, including two diving stops against Ohio State attacker Kevin Nugent from point blank range, knocking the ball over the crossbar with 24:25 and 14:27 left in the game. Tillman earned his second shutout of the season.
McMahen gave the Spartans some room to breathe when freshman Zac Scaffidi (Geneva, Ill.) played the ball into redshirt freshman Doug DeMartin (Mason), who made a nice play to get around an OSU defender and feed McMahen the ball for his second tally of the game, and sixth of the season.
"I told Doug (DeMartin) that today was the best game he played all year," McMahen said of his teammate. "I knew he just needed to make a couple more plays to build his confidence. He made a great move and got me the ball. I was in the right spot to get the goal."
The Green and White is now 1-1 on its six-game homestand. Next week, the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame come to East Lansing on Tuesday (Oct. 11) for a 4 p.m. game and MSU resumes Big Ten play against in-state rival Michigan on Sunday (Oct. 16) at 1 p.m.