SOUTH BEND, Ind. - Freshman forward Michael Beckett scored his first career goal as the No. 13 Michigan State men’s soccer team stopped No. 12 Notre Dame, 1-0, Tuesday at Alumni Stadium.
With the win, MSU improved to 12-3-1 overall this season, while the Fighting Irish dropped to 10-5-1. The Spartans handed the Fighting Irish their first loss of the season at Alumni Stadium, falling to 6-1-1 at home. The win was the first since 2010 against Notre Dame, as MSU improves to 2-6-1 since 2010.
“This is a really big win for our guys; I am happy for them. I thought it was a very even game, a very professional road win for our guys. It was a very big win for us and for the Big Ten Conference. I am also happy for the seniors. This was their first win against Notre Dame in four years,” MSU head coach Damon Rensing said.
Michigan State now has three wins this season against ranked teams No. 12 SMU, No. 17 Akron and No. 12 Notre Dame. Overall, the Spartans are 3-1 against ranked squads in 2016.
In the first half, neither team could get much going offensively. After the first 45 minutes, Notre Dame out-shot MSU 3-2.
In the second half, the Spartans started to get more momentum going offensively. In the 53rd minute, junior defender Jimmy Fiscus had a header that was collected by Notre Dame goalkeeper Chris Hubbard.
Less than six minutes later, Hubbard was injured and replaced by Ryan Krutz.
Beckett found the back of the net for the only goal of the game in the 74th minute. Sophomore forward Ryan Sierakowski delivered a great ball to Beckett, whose header slipped past substitute goalkeeper Krutz.
“It was a little combination play with Giuseppe (Barone) and (Brad) Centala. Then Giuseppe found Sierakowski, who had a very good ball and finally a great header by Beckett. What a way to get your first college goal for Beckett. Michael is really good in the box. He nearly scored against Northwestern, and he is a handful physically. It gives us some freedom to move Ryan around a little bit. He has been a great addition for us,” Rensing said.
The Spartans backline was able to make the one goal stand against the aggressive Notre Dame offense. Redshirt-sophomore Jimmy Hague captured his seventh shutout of the season. Overall, the Fighting Irish out-shot the Spartans 8-5.
MSU has one more game in the Hoosier State this week, facing No. 10 Indiana in the Spartans’ Big Ten finale on Sunday, Oct. 30 at 1 p.m. Michigan State is currently second in the B1G standings looking to host a Big Ten Tournament game for the first-time ever.