Spartans Outrun Penn State In A 4-3 Big Ten Victory
Oct. 19, 2003
EAST LANSING, Mich. - The Michigan State University men's soccer team got back on track Sunday (Oct. 19) at Old College Field with a 4-3 win over Penn State in a physical conference game. The two teams combined for 28 fouls and were awarded two yellow cards each. Sophomore midfielder Ryan McMahen (Munster, Ind.) had a hand in all four of the Spartan goals, registering one goal and three assists. The Spartans improved to 2-1-2 in the Big Ten, and 8-3-2 overall. Penn State falls to 6-7 and 1-3 in conference play.
Just ten minutes into the match John Minagawa-Webster (Jr., Monroe) took a pass from McMahen and senior midfielder Nick DeGraw (Clinton Township) and fired a shot over the sliding Nittany Lion goalie to put the Spartans out to an early lead. The goal was Minagawa-Webster's team-leading eighth of the season.
Penn State had few early chances. The Nittany Lions' best chance came when netminder Mike Robinson (Sr., Troy) was caught diving out of position, however the PSU attacker's shot hit the crossbar.
PSU eventually tied the game at 1-1 in the 28th minute. MSU retook the lead four minutes before the end of the first half, when McMahen capitalized on a free kick from 22 yards out, sailing the ball around a line of Nittany Lion blockers into the lower left corner of the net.
MSU came out strong early in the second half, with goals by forwards Thomas Trivelloni (Sr., Mt. Clemens) and Jordan Gruber (Jr., Beverly Hills) in the 66th and 74th minutes, respectively. McMahen assisted on both goals.
"I was just in the right spots today," said McMahen. "Our offense played well. We were quick and moved the ball well. It's always big when we can come out and score an early goal."
Penn State hung around and got back into the game when MSU's defense scored an own goal in the 75th minute. The Nittany Lions then converted a corner kick with just under seven minutes remaining in the contest, making the score 4-3.
Despite a late flurry of PSU shots the Spartan defense, led by Kellen Kalso (Jr., Oxford) kept the ball out of MSU's goal contributing one team save. Senior goalkeeper, Robinson, had four saves on the afternoon in the Spartan net, including deflecting one shot off the post and away from danger.
"It was a wild game," said head coach Joe Baum. "I think it was the best offensive soccer we've played all year. When we score four good goals in a game we are going to be successful. I knew when Jordan (Gruber) scored the fourth goal we were going to win, but Penn State didn't quit."
Michigan State's next contest comes on Wednesday, Oct. 22 at Old College Field when the Spartans face Western Michigan at 3:00 p.m. EST. The Spartans continue Big Ten play on Oct. 26 when they travel to Wisconsin to face the Badgers at 1:00 p.m. EST.
Game Summary Goals by Period 1 2 Totals PSU 1 2 3 MSU 2 2 4
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