Men's Soccer Sinks Michigan, 2-1
Oct. 25, 2009
EAST LANSING, Mich. - The Michigan State men's soccer team used two early goals - one in the first half and one in the second- to defeat Michigan, 2-1, on Sunday (Oct. 25) in front of a crowd of more than 2,300 at DeMartin Stadium. The Spartans are now unbeaten against the Wolverines since 2003 and have taken six of the last seven and nine of the last 12 meetings between the schools.
"I just thought our guys were fantastic today, from goalkeeper, to up top, to the bench," said MSU head coach Damon Rensing. "We stuck to a good game plan early on. We knew what was coming and I thought we countered that very well in the first 15 minutes."
The Spartans (9-4-1, 2-3) got off to a fast start - scoring the first goal of the game in the sixth minute. Jeff Ricondo started the play for MSU by hitting Cyrus Saydee with a pass down the left side. Saydee sprinted with the ball toward the middle for the field and found Spencer Thompson cutting toward the net who put it behind U-M keeper Chris Blais for a 1-0 MSU lead.
"I knew Cyrus was going to beat his guy so I just went to the middle of the box as quickly as I could and he played a great ball in for me," Thompson said.
MSU goalkeeper Avery Steinlage was tested all day by the Wolverines and U-M's Matt Schmitt had the best chance of the first half in the 36th minute. Schmitt found a loose ball inside the penalty area and fired it on net but Steinlage was in perfect position for the save.
Later on in the half, defender Colin Givens did his part for the Spartans to keep the game scoreless by denying the Wolverines' Julian Robles' rebound attempt with a diving stop on the backline after Steinlage stopped the initial shot.
The Wolverines finally got to the Green and White though in the last minute of the first half. Schmitt got a header over the outstretched hand of Steinlage to tie the game at one.
As they did in the first half, the Spartans struck quickly again to start the second. At the 46:11 mark, Saydee and Thompson got together again to regain the lead for MSU. Saydee took a perfect pass from Thompson at the top of the penalty area and beat Blais with a hard shot for his second goal in two games.
"We talked about staying together and we managed some adversity giving up that late goal," Rensing said. "Some teams may have gone in the tank, but we responded and came back out and got a quick goal."
Givens came up huge again for MSU later in the second, making another stop on the goal line. With the score still 2-1 MSU in the 66th minute, Givens stopped U-M's Mauro Fuzetti's shot from point-blank range.
A red card to Michigan's Adam Keller in the 77th minute forced the Wolverines to play a man down for the remainder of the match and allowed MSU to control a majority of the action in the closing minutes.
Fuzzeti had one final opportunity for U-M (9-5-1, 1-3) to tie the game with just under five minutes to play. But again, a rebound shot attempt was stopped by the MSU defense as Jake Fullerton slid to clear a ball from the backline.
"The defense was just fantastic today," Steinlage said. "Colin stopped two balls off the line and everyone was just playing their hearts out. Michigan is a very good offensive team with a lot of weapons and we shut them down today."
Steinlage finished with seven saves for MSU.
MSU will host Notre Dame at 3 p.m. on Wednesday (Oct. 28) at DeMartin Stadium.
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