Oct. 27, 2013
EAST LANSING, Mich. – The No. 17 Michigan State men’s soccer team dropped a 1-0 decision to Wisconsin on Sunday afternoon at McClimon Sports Complex in Madison. With the loss, the Spartans are now 8-3-3 and 1-2-1 in the Big Ten, while Wisconsin improved to 10-3-1 with a 2-2-0 conference record.
“I thought we started the game doing some good things in the first 20 minutes,” said head coach Damon Rensing. “Our possession was good to start, but it never turned into chances and we had opportunity to do that. I thought after the TV timeout, Wisconsin came with a good energy and up-ed the intensity and I don’t think we matched it at the end of the first half; which resulted in a tough goal to give up. Credit to Wisconsin for getting in line to do it, but that was a bit unfortunate. In the second half, I thought the guys battled and tried to show some initiative, but Wisconsin played a smart defensive game. They’re good at getting numbers behind the ball in transition and then they’re good with what they do with it.”
The Spartans maintained possession to kick off the first half and continued to stay in Wisconsin territory. Tim Kreutz had an early shot that was hit over the cross bar before Zach Bennett made a huge save for MSU.
Despite some strong defensively play, a Badger surge led to a Spartan own goal to put Wisconsin up 1-0 in the 26th minute. Andrew Herr tried to send in an equalizer before the end of the half, but the Badger keeper kept it out of the net.
MSU came out refocused in the second half as Sean Conerty sent a strong ball off a restart over to Ryan Keener who headed a target just off frame. However, the Badger defense continued to keep the Spartans offensive attacks at bay throughout the second half. Kreutz took an opportunity off a scrum and sent it just wide of the net before Bennett handled a dangerous shot from Wisconsin.
Brent McIntosh drove in a huge shot on goal that was deflected off the hands of the Badger keeper to try and spark the Spartan offense with under 20 minutes to play. Despite MSU creating good attacking play, the Spartans ran out of time to find a goal before the end of regulation.
“I think at this point in the season, it’s more physical than mental,” Rensing said. “We’re going to have to make sure we’re mentally ready to go for Indiana. I thought this team has had a pretty good mentality and I thought we lost our way a little bit in that category. One thing this team has done is bounced back, so hopefully we will for Indiana.”
Continuing Big Ten play, the Spartans will travel to Bloomington, Ind., to face the Hoosiers on Friday, Nov. 1 at 7 p.m.