Oct. 13, 2013
EAST LANSING, Mich. - In the third double-overtime game of the season, the Michigan State men's soccer team tied Ohio State on Sunday at DeMartin Stadium. The Spartans are now 7-1-2 on the season, 1-0-1 in the Big Ten, while the Buckeyes own a 2-6-4 record, including 0-2-1 in the conference. MSU recorded a season-high 36 shots on the day, an additional 13 past its previous season-high of 23 at Northwestern.
"We knew Ohio State was a better team than their record shows and that they were going to give us some trouble," said head coach Damon Rensing. "To be honest, I thought we did what we needed to do in a lot of aspects of the game. Our ball movement was good. We certainly created enough chances. We got the lead and probably needed to maybe try to find a way to get a second goal in that second half and didn't make it easier, because we certainly put ourselves in enough positions to score more than one goal today. To their credit, they put numbers forward. We've got to do a better job of dealing with things at the end of the game. I thought the guys put out a great effort. I like where this group is at still. Certainly, you want to walk away with a win today but it didn't happen. You've got to take this as a learning experience. As long as we respond from this, we'll be fine."
Both teams came out attacking from the first whistle, creating chances on either side of the pitch. Adam Montague got a good look on a ball early in the first half, but sent it just wide of the net. Ohio State answered with a shot that connected with the far post. A few dangerous opportunities by the Buckeyes possessed out in transition forced MSU to step up on its defensive play.
Tim Kreutz earned the Spartans a corner kick from a foul and headed the ball just wide of the net from about 35 yards out. Montague got another great chance off a pass from Brent McIntosh and Kreutz, but the ball was shot was sent over the cross bar. Jumping over a crowd inside the box, Zach Bennett came up with a big save with 10 minutes left in the first half. The Spartans created a major opportunity when Sean Conerty and Montague set up a shot for Fatai Alashe that was deflected off the cross bar and fell down the back of the net. A long throw in from Ryan Thelen built another crowd in the box and Kreutz got a shot on it that bounced off the Ohio State keeper. Despite MSU outshooting the Buckeye's 15-9 in the first half, both teams went into halftime scoreless.
The Spartans responded in the second half as McIntosh and Montague created a play for a McIntosh strike that was saved by the Buckeye goalie. Jay Chapman tried to catch the keeper off the line, but sent a shot over the cross bar. MSU created several opportunities for shots on goal from a cross in front the net, but was unable to connect on the ball.
After back-to-back corner kicks, Michigan State was able to capitalize in the 64th minute as Montague sent in a header on his seventh shot of the game off a corner kick from Thelen. Montague, who leads the conference in shots per game with a 4.30 average, recorded his fourth goal of the season to give MSU a 1-0 lead.
Both teams shared possession and played for some dangerous opportunities in the final third throughout the second half. Kreutz had a shot on goal sent wide before Andrew Herr cleared out a dangerous Ohio State free kick. After the Spartans defended additional chances for the Buckeyes, Ohio State's Kofi Agyapong passed a ball to Ryan Ivancic who slotted it in the box from the left wing to tie the game 1-1 with under six minutes remaining in regulation.
MSU attempted to take the lead before the end of the half as Thelen set up another header for Montague, but the Ohio State keeper made a save to send the game into overtime.
With the golden goal needed for the Spartans, McIntosh had two great opportunities on goal, one sent just wide and the other deflected to set up a corner kick for MSU, but a foul on the Spartans kept the ball out of the net. Kreutz played in another ball for Montague that was shot on target, but the Buckeye goalie made another big save.
The Spartans defended opportunities for Ohio State in the second overtime as Kevin Cope and Jay Chapman cleared out chances off free kicks. Both teams added pressure, but with the clock winding down, neither could send the ball into the net.
In goal, Zach Bennett recorded seven saves on the day. He now owns a .873 Sv% and a GAA of 0.66.
A season-high of 2,032 were in attendance for the game on Sunday.
"We had a great crowd today," said Rensing. "It was beautiful today. The Red Cedar Rowdies were fantastic. The field was in perfect shape. It was a great college soccer day."
The Spartans will be back in action on Wednesday, Oct. 16 as they host the Oakland Grizzlies. The game at DeMartin Stadium will kick off at 4 p.m.