Men's Soccer Wins Fourth Straight; Downs Notre Dame, 2-1
Oct. 28, 2009
EAST LANSING, Mich. - For the second consecutive game, Cyrus Saydee scored the game-winning goal early in the second half as the Michigan State men's soccer team defeated Notre Dame, 2-1, on Wednesday (Oct. 28) afternoon at DeMartin Stadium. The win improves MSU's record to 10-4-1, marking the ninth time this decade it has recorded at least 10 wins in a season.
"Today was a huge win for a lot of reasons," said MSU head coach Damon Rensing. "You want to improve how you are seen in the regional rankings and by the NCAA Tournament committee. Notre Dame is just a great program and Bobby Clark does a great job there - you want to show well against a quality opponent."
Michigan State capitalized on its first corner kick of the game in the 16th minute. Spencer Thompson delivered the ball into the box where, after a deflection, Stephen Lucianek headed it toward the net and Rubin Bega tapped it in for his team-leading eighth goal of the season.
The Irish (9-7-1) pressured the Spartans in the final stages of the first half and in the 37th minute, Adam Mena's header from the right side tied the game at one.
"I felt we like we took our foot off the gas after we scored and that allowed them to get pressure on us," said Rensing.
Similar to Sunday's game against Michigan, the Spartans responded with a goal early in the second half. And again like Sunday's game, it was Cyrus Saydee that regained the lead for MSU.
Saydee started the play when he took the ball just past midfield down the left side and he beat two Notre Dame defenders. After nearly getting hauled down by a third defender, Saydee beat UND keeper Andrew Quinn and made it 2-1 with a rocket to the upper right corner of the net.
"I just kept going and I knew if I lost the ball, the ref would have called a foul, but I kept going," Saydee said. "The center back kind of overplayed it and I just cut and had a clear shot."
The highlight-reel goal energized the Spartans for the remainder of the game.
"That was one of the best goals we've seen here in this program in the last 10 years," Rensing added.
Saydee has now scored in each of the last three games.
"We felt like if we came out strong in the second half and scored and kept playing, we would be fine," said Saydee. "In the first half after we scored, we kind of sat back and let them attack."
Avery Steinlage finished with three saves for MSU, which was outshot, 14-8, for the game.
The Green and White will play its final home match of the year on Sunday when it hosts San Diego State at 12 p.m. at DeMartin Stadium.
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