Spartans Fall to Cal, 2-1, in Penalty Strokes
Aug 31, 2013
East Lansing, Mich. - - Michigan State dropped a heartbreaker to Cal, 2-1 in a penalty shootout, in the opening game of the 2013 season. The teams needed nine rounds of a shootout in addition to a combined 100 minutes of regulation and overtime to settle the contest. Clara Goni played the role of hero for Cal, netting the game-sealing penalty stroke in the ninth round.
Molly Cassidy had four saves in the game and was equally impressive in the shootout, where she stopped four shots. MSU outshot Cal in the game, 12-10, while the Bears had a slight edge in penalty corners, 7-6.
"Molly was absolutely sensational for us, particularly in overtime and in the shootout. We had a number of offensive opportunities where we came up just short in regulation and overtime," said head coach Helen Knull. "It's tough to lose such a heartbreaker in the first game of the year, but there's a lot of positives that we need to take from the game. We have to keep our heads up, make some adjustments, and be ready to play Pacific on Sunday.
Cal had dominated portions of the opening half, but the Spartans were holding their own and held an edge in both shots (5-2) and corners (3-2) when Abby Barker dribbled around a Cal defender and fired a rocket in the 32nd minute that found its intended destination to give MSU a lead at the intermission. The Bears had a nice chance in the waning moments of the opening half, but Sydney Earle's shot was wide right.
The Bears broke up the shutout with just 5:07 remaining in regulation. Andrea Earle got the game-tying goal as Cal was able to capitalize on some momentum. Neither team came up with any late-regulation heroics, and the squads headed into the overtime periods.
MSU had the first good chance of the OT when it was awarded a penalty corner, but the shot went wide. Sydney Earle had the ball on her stick in a breakaway, but the MSU defense was able to catch up and pushed the shot wide to alleviate the danger.
The Spartans had another good chance early in the second OT period, but it was Cal's turn to execute a strong defensive stand to keep MSU from getting the late winner. The Bears got a penalty corner opportunity with just over five minutes remaining, but could not get a shot off and the teams played on. With just two minutes left to play, MSU had a high shot which Courtney Hendrickson knocked away, the final great chance for either team as the score remained knotted 1-1 after two overtime periods.
Natalie Gibbens gave Cal an early lead in the shootout, as Cal keeper Hendricksen made stops on Allie Ahern and Heather Howie and Molly Cassidy came up with a save on Monica Marazzo. MSU pulled even at 2-2 with goals from Kristen Henn and Victoria Radwell. After the eighth round of the shootout, the score was still 2-2, with each keeper turning away four shots. Heather Howie's shot in the ninth round was saved by Hendrickson, and Clara Goni won it for Cal as her time expired, sneaking one past Cassidy to end the shootout in the ninth round.
Michigan State is back in action on Sunday when it takes on Pacific at Stanford. MSU will play the Cardinal on Monday, Sept. 2 before heading back to East Lansing.
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