Oct. 10, 2007
EAST LANSING, Mich. - Spencer Thompson picked a fine time to score his first career goal, as the freshman's tally was the game-winner in the Michigan State men's soccer team's 1-0 win over No. 3 Notre Dame Wednesday at a cold and wet Old College Field. The win improves the Spartans, who were ranked 24th in the nation before a loss at Indiana last weekend, to 8-1-2 on the season. Notre Dame falls to 8-2-2.
Thompson's goal came on a shot from 20 yards out at the 63:40 mark. Senior Dave Hertel dribbled across midfield to start the play, and passed to fellow senior Kenzo Webster, who dribbled past a couple of Irish defenders to the right side of the box. Webster played a ball to the streaking Thompson, who booted the shot past Notre Dame goalie Chris Cahill.
"Spencer's a good player and he's been getting better and better all year," head coach Joe Baum said. "Today, we needed his help and he stepped up. I'm really happy for Spencer."
The assist was Webster's team-leading fourth of the season.
Notre Dame had a couple of point-blank scoring chances, including two opportunties with MSU's senior goalkeeper Chris Austin away from the net. In the 57th minute, Notre Dame's Justin Morrow had two close shots after Austin left the box, but Morrow's shots were turned away by Spartan senior Rauwshan McKenzie.
After Thompson's goal, Michigan State packed its defense tight on the back line, turning away each Irish attack.
"This is one of the finest wins I've ever been associated with in the history of my coaching," head coach Joe Baum said. "I think Notre Dame is the best defensive team in the country, and for us to beat the No. 3 team in the country is just incredible."
Thompson finished with a career-high four shots, including two on goal. Notre Dame finished with edges in shots (17-12), shots on goal (7-3) and corner kicks (6-3). Austin made four saves en route to his sixth shutout of the year. The Spartan defense also had a season-high three team saves, including the two by McKenzie and one by senior Kevin Reiman.
The Spartans return to action this Sunday by hosting No. 21 Michigan. The match is set for a 3:05 p.m. kickoff and will air live on the Big Ten Network.