Spartans Battle Past Northwestern, 2-1
Oct. 22, 2006
EAST LANSING, Mich. - Michigan State overcame a 1-0 deficit and battled past Northwestern in double overtime to pick up its first Big Ten win of the season, defeating the Wildcats, 2-1, at Old College Field.
In the last home game of his career, senior defender Greg Janicki headed in the game-winner for MSU with 2:02 remaining in the second overtime. Junior Ben Pirmann streaked down the left side of the field and played a cross to Janicki, who headed it home for the Spartan win. It was Janicki's second goal of the season and second game-winner in as many games.
"I put myself in the right position at the right time and Pirmann was able to get me the ball," Janicki commented. "It's pretty crazy to get these last two in a row."
"That was all character," MSU head coach Joe Baum stated. "We had guys out there that were banged up and hurt, and we can't sub much because we aren't a deep team, but these guys refused to lose. They gave 110 percent for this university and this soccer program today."
In rainy, windy conditions, Northwestern (10-6-0, 2-4-0 Big Ten) had put an early score on the board in the 18th minute, when David Roth made good on a direct kick a yard outside of the box, placing the strike in the left corner of the net. The Wildcats held the 1-0 lead until late in the second half.
Michigan State (9-5-2, 1-2-2 Big Ten) tied the game at 72:20. As the Wildcat defense tried to play a ball backwards, junior attacker Kenzo Webster applied heavy pressure. The ball skipped by NU goaltender Will Briley and Webster won the foot race with a defender, collecting his team-leading seventh goal of the season.
MSU senior goalkeeper Jason Tillman came up with two remarkable saves in the final minutes of regulation, both times diving to his left to punch a would-be Northwestern score off target. Tillman stopped four shots on the day.
Michigan State concludes its regular-season schedule with two road games next week, traveling to Kalamazoo to play in-state rival Western Michigan on Oct. 25, before facing Ohio State in Columbus on Oct. 29.
at the official