Oct. 9, 2011
East Lansing, Mich. - Michigan State picked up its first Big Ten victory of the season, defeating Penn State, 1-0, at DeMartin Stadium on Sunday afternoon. The Spartans (4-6-2, 1-1-1 Big Ten) got a first-half score from Mark Barone, which stood up as the game-winner. Meanwhile, the Spartan defense was at its best, limiting the Nittany Lions to four shots on the day, and none on net.
Michigan State controlled possession for long stretches of the first half, and the best chances came from the foot of senior Cyrus Saydee. Saydee's closest chance came in the 25th minute, when he drove wide up the left side and sent a sharp-angle shot netward, causing the keeper to dive to preserve the scoreless tie.
The Spartans got on the board first, in the 30th minute of play. Rubin Bega took the corner kick from the left side, and Barone was at the far post to head the ball into the right-side netting. It was his second goal of the week, as he also had a score earlier this week against Milwaukee. The Spartans had a chance to double their lead in the 41st minute on another close corner play, but Penn State keeper Andrew Wolverton came up with the big save.
Penn State's best chance in the first half came in the final two minutes of the period, when Grant Warming had a shot just inside the 18, but it sailed high and out of danger.
The Spartans kept pressing in the second half, looking for some insurance. Fatai Alashe had a tremendous chance with 23 minutes remaining, beating the goalie at the left post and looking to dish to the right side to Brent Rosendall, but the defender stepped in to tap it out of danger. Saydee had another grade-A chance exactly a minute later, but Wolverton dove to his left for the stop.
MSU outshot their guests by a 11-4 margin, which included an 7-0 edge in shots on net. The Spartans had 13 corners to the Nittany Lions' two, and Penn State held the edge in fouls, 12-9.
Today's game completed a four-game homestand for the Spartans, who head to Wisconsin next Sunday for a showdown with the Badgers at 2 p.m. MSU returns home on Oct. 19 for a home date with non-conference opponent Bowling Green.