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Spartans Tie North Carolina, 1-1, Fall in Penalty Kicks, 5-4
Cyrus Saydee scored MSU's lone goal at the 64:07 mark in the game.
Cyrus Saydee scored MSU's lone goal at the 64:07 mark in the game.

Nov. 28, 2010

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CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - Looking to continue its magical season, the Spartans traveled to North Carolina for third round action of the NCAA Men's Soccer Tournament, facing the host Tar Heels. A goal from UNC's Enzo Martinez with less than 10 seconds left in regulation tied the game at one after nearly 64 minutes of scoreless action. After remaining tied after the two overtimes, the teams proceeded to penalty kicks, where North Carolina prevailed, 5-4. MSU ends its season with a 13-7-2 record, while the Tar Heels are 15-2-3.

"Giving up a goal with three seconds left is tough," said MSU head coach Damon Rensing. "These guys persevered and they pushed into penalty kicks. We kind of got hit with a double whammy here. It's tough to give up a goal at the end of a game, and penalty kicks are a crapshoot. Not only am I proud of this team, but I am proud of the way we played. I thought we played a very good brand of soccer. I thought we represented Michigan State, the Big Ten and Michigan soccer as a whole well with great class. I am very proud of this program and where we are at."

The two teams opened the first half in a tough battle throughout. Both teams remained strong, resulting in a scoreless first 45 minutes of action. After being outshot 7-3 at one point in the half, the Spartans rallied to within three shots at the conclusion of the half, 9-6.

Nearly 20 minutes into the second half, MSU was the first on the board when in the 64th minute Rubin Bega was leading the charge up the middle of the field, and fed a beautiful pass between two Tar Heel defenders to a streaking Cyrus Saydee down the right side. Saydee created separation and shot the ball low and to the corner post, just past the North Carolina goalkeeper for his fourth goal of the season, giving MSU a 1-0 lead.



North Carolina tied the contest when with less than 10 seconds left on the clock, Martinez buried home the ball from about 20 yards out to send the game into overtime. North Carolina sent the ball in from the far corner and was deflected to Martinez on the opposite side by a group of defenders. Martinez sent the ball over everyone and into the back of the net, tying the game up at one.

1:30 into the first overtime, Garret Back took a nice feed from Bega and got a shot on net, however UNC's Scott Goodwin made the save to keep the game in a deadlock. MSU was unable to get a clean shot in the second overtime.

After two scoreless overtimes, the game moved into penalty kicks. With penalty kicks tied at four after five MSU shooters, Martinez was the last player to shoot the ball for UNC and buried the ball into the back of the net, advancing the Tar Heels to the fourth round of NCAA Tournament against the winner of the Southern Methodist/William & Mary matchup.

Avery Steinlage was strong in net for MSU, stopping nine Tar Heel shots on net.


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