Oct. 30, 2011
East Lansing, Mich. - Senior keeper Jeremy Clark made nine saves in his fourth shutout of the year and redshirt freshman Ryan Keener headed in the game's only goal on a corner play as Michigan State (6-7-4, 2-2-2 B1G) took back the Big Bear Trophy with a 1-0 victory over Michigan.
The first half was a scoreless affair, as the Wolverines (5-12-1, 1-4-0 B1G) had a slim 2-0 edge in shots on net, both coming in the second half of that opening frame. Luca Schioppa's shot from about 30 yards out on the left side was the best chance for either team in the opening half.
The teams were a bit more aggressive as the game wore on - Michigan had a pair of chances on a goalmouth scramble in the 57th minute, as both Mathew Rickard and Etienne Lussiez had chances, but Jeremy Clark gained control, ending the threat. Luzziez had a wide shot from the right side that Clark saved in the 66th minute as well.
The most dangerous chances in the second half to that point, though, came from the Spartans. In the 68th minute, a Rubin Bega volley ricocheted off the crossbar, and three minutes later, Fatai Alashe had a header that was stopped by a defender, and Mark Barone's shot went off the crossbar as well.
The Spartans kept coming at the Wolverine defense in waves. In the 72nd minute, the Spartans had an odd-man rush , and Adam Montague pushed a nice pass to Mark Barone over on the left side. Barone's shot was punched away by keeper Adam Grinwis to preserve the scoreless tie.
Grinwis wasn't as lucky on the next sequence, as MSU lined up for the corner kick. Cyrus Saydee took the kick from the right side, and Keener got a head on it, sending it past Grinwis for the first score of the game.
Michigan pushed at the other end, but the Spartan defense did a nice job of clearing out in front of the net. On a restart, Keener headed away a dangerous shot, then cleared away a second Michigan chance, creating a four-on-one chance for MSU the other way. Keener crossed it over to Saydee on the far left side, and Saydee's offering was saved by Grinwis.
In the 83rd minute, the Spartans had another chance which reached the keeper; Grinwis collided with Montague as both went for the ball. Grinwis took exception with the collision, and fired the ball at Montague after the play; the collision earned Montague a yellow card, and Grinwis was given a red card and was forced to exit the game in favor of Tim Bergsma.
Michigan's sense of urgency in the late minutes of the game led to a series of five saves for Clark, who was up to the task. UM's Tyler Arnone had the best late chance for the Wolverines, as he eluded a defender, drove deep into the box, and went one-on-one with Clark, who fell on the ball and made the save.
Michigan State completes its Big Ten campaign with a 2-2-2 record in Big Ten play. MSU will play at Akron on Wednesday to complete its regular season, then will await the results of the final weekend of Big Ten Conference action to be completed before the Big Ten Conference Tournament seeds are announced.