Oct. 26, 2013
EAST LANSING, Mich. - Michigan State fell to No. 13 Northwestern by a score of 2-1 on Saturday afternoon. Northwestern scored the go-ahead goal with 6:16 remaining to improve to 13-4 on the year while Michigan State falls to 8-9 overall and 3-2 in the Big Ten.
"It's been a great year, and great five years," said senior captain Kristen Henn. "Playing next to these girls and having your coaches on the sideline cheering for you is what makes it. Win or lose it was still nice to play on the field one last time."
Northwestern struck first in the 16th minute off of a penalty corner. Goalkeeper Molly Cassidy made a great save off the initial shot, but Lisa McCarthy gathered the rebound and fired a shot by Cassidy to give the Wildcats the lead.
MSU scored the equalizer early in the 43rd minute. Jenni Smith took a shot off a corner that was blocked in front, but senior Adelle Lever picked the ball up in the center of the circle and put it passed the keeper for her fourth goal of the season.
Michigan State generated several opportunities over the remainder of the second half but couldn't find the goal that would give them the lead. Tied at 1-1 with 6:16 remaining, Northwestern turned the field quickly on MSU and generated a fast break opportunity. Goalkeeper Molly Cassidy came out to make the save and break up the chance, but the Cats quickly regained possession with Cassidy still on the ground. Isabel Flens didn't miss on the open net and gave Northwestern the eventual game-winner.
"Today was a matter of details," said Knull. "To out-corner and out-shoot them and not execute was disappointing. We've proven to ourselves that we can play with anybody. We have had the lead or been tied in every Big Ten game. We played a solid game, but it came down to details and finishing it out and that is what we have to keep working on."
MSU held the edge in penalty corners 9-6 and 15-10, and had the ball deep in Northwestern territory several times throughout the second half but couldn't put one home.
"It always stinks to look up at the scoreboard at the end of the game and see you out-shot or out-cornered a team and weren't on the winning end of it," said Henn. "It was a game of inches. We hit the post or if the ball would have been just a little to the side it would have gone in. A lot of positive things to take away from this game, though, and we're moving on from here."
Michigan State closes out Big Ten play next Saturday at 2:00 p.m. when
it goes on the road to take on Iowa.