Michigan State Falls to Ohio State, 2-1, in Big Ten Quarterfinals
EAST LANSING, Mich. - Michigan State had chances late, including a strike that hit the crossbar with 31 seconds left, but could not net the equalizer and lost to Ohio State, 2-1, in the Big Ten Tournament Quarterfinals at DeMartin Stadium on a damp and rainy Sunday afternoon.
The loss drops Michigan State's record to 11-3-3 overall, while Ohio State improves to 8-9-1. The Spartans, ranked No. 8 in the country in the United Soccer Coaches poll, will await the selections for the 2017 NCAA Tournament, which will be announced on Monday, Nov. 13.
"It's disappointing," Michigan State Head Coach Damon Rensing said. "We didn't deal with some stuff early on. You can't drop down two goals in college soccer and think you are just going to come back from that. The second half we could have scored four goals and certainly could have tied it there, hitting the crossbar at the end. We gave them some goals off our mistakes and you do that and it's ultimately going to be tough to come back."
Trailing 2-0 at the half, MSU came out in the second half aggressively and looked to strike early. They did just that, as John Freitag scored in the 49th minute to cut the lead to 2-1. Freitag had picked up a loose ball on the near post and with OSU goalkeeper Parker Siegfried off his line, he slotted a shot through a trio of Buckeyes defenders to net the goal at 49:29.
The Spartans continued to attack over the final 40 minutes, but could not find the equalizer. Senior Brad Centala had a shot from the left edge of the box that was saved by Siegfried with less than seven minutes to play, Freitag had a shot go high in the 85th minute and Centala had a shot that went wide a minute later.
Michigan State's best chance came with less than a minute left. A foul was called on Ohio State at the top of the 18 with 31 seconds left. Junior Ryan Sierakowski took the free kick and his blast from 18 yards out hit the post and deflected off as Ohio State came away with the win.
The game kicked off at 1 p.m, but just six minutes in, the referees halted play due to thunderstorms in the area. The teams returned to the field one hour later and resumed the game with no interruptions.
It did not take long for Ohio State to take the advantage. Off a counter, Ohio State's Joshua Jackson-Ketchup fed the ball up from the far sideline to Michael Prosuk in the box. Prosuk took a low shot across the box that beat MSU goalkeeper Jimmy Hague to the far post at 7:37, giving OSU the lead.
The Buckeyes extended their lead to 2-0 late in the first half. After a foul was called on Michigan State, Abdi Mohammed's free kick from 23 yards out went to the far post, giving OSU a 2-0 lead at 41:40.
Michigan State out shot Ohio State, 20-5, and held a 16-2 advantage in corner kicks. Hague faced only three shots on goal and made one save for the Spartans.