Offensive Explosion Propels MSU To 7-1 Win Over Valparaiso
Nov. 5, 2004
EAST LANSING, Mich. - The Michigan State men's soccer team finished off its regular season on a strong offensive note, notching a season-high seven goals against Valparaiso, in a 7-1 victory on Friday (Nov. 5) at Old College Field. The Spartans have not scored seven or more goals in one game since Sept. 11, 1985. MSU improves to 9-6-1 (2-4 Big Ten) with the win, while Valparaiso drops to 4-10-3 on the season.
Less than two minutes into the game a Ryan McMahen (Jr., Munster, Ind.) corner kick led to a scramble in front of the goal. John Minagawa-Webster (Sr., Monroe) passed the ball back to junior midfielder Steve Doster (Frankfort, Ill.) who blasted the ball past the Valparaiso goalie, to give State a 1-0 lead.
With the momentum, MSU piled on to its lead in the first half. Matt Kreikemeier (So., Chesterfield, Mo.) scored the Spartans' third goal of the game; the assist went to Gruber. In the 29th minute, Minagawa-Webster netted a goal of his own to give MSU a 4-0 lead, with assists going to Kenzo Webster (Fr., Monroe) and Ben Pirmann (Fr., Lake Orion).
Valparaiso was able to narrow the score just before half with a goal from attacker J.J. Eschenberg. Michigan State remained ahead 4-1 at halftime.
Sophomore netminder Jason Tillman (Brighton) started the game, however freshman Chris Austin (Livonia) took over in goal for the Spartans at halftime. Tillman and Austin had one and three saves, respectively.
At 53:49, Gruber netted his second goal of the afternoon. He was set up by McMahen and Minagawa-Webster, who were each credited with assists on the play. Leading the MSU attack, Gruber finished with two goals and one assist, Minagawa-Webster had one goal and two assists, and McMahen had two assists on the afternoon.
With a 5-1 lead, Michigan State continued to apply offensive pressure. Webster scored his third goal of the season on a pass from John Kaczmarek (Jr., Plymouth). To cap off the game senior forward Nick Belloli (Okemos) scored after a few solid downfield passes from Udo Seidel (Sr., Prospect Heights, Ill.) and Greg Doster (So., Frankfort, Ill.). For Belloli, it was his first points as a Spartan. The goal gave MSU a 7-1 advantage.
"We needed this game to get our momentum back," said head coach Joe Baum. "We don't know what our pairing is for the Big Ten Tournament, but I certainly feel that we are ready to go."
Michigan State looks forward to the Big Ten Tournament next weekend (Nov. 11-14) in Ann Arbor, Mich. The pairings for the tournament will be released Sunday (Nov. 7) evening. For more information visit www.msuspartans.com.
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