EAST LANSING, Mich. – In the first exhibition match of the year, the Michigan State women’s soccer opened with a 2-1 victory over Toledo on Thursday at the MSU Practice Field.
MSU 2, Toledo 1
Michigan State started off the match with commanding control of the ball, capitalizing on a scoring chance in the 12th minute. Freshman Danielle Stephan sent a shot to the back of the net past Toledo goalkeeper Madison Perrin.
“One of our areas of emphasis was to have as strong start, and I think that went well,” Tom Saxton, Michigan State head coach, said. “We kept the pressure on Toledo, got a nice goal out of it. I thought the competitive spirit was great. They played for each other.”
The Spartans held Toledo scoreless in the first half, but the Rockets changed the momentum early in the second half. Redshirt sophomore Kelsey Kraft scored the equalizer in the 50th minute despite a diving effort from Spartan goalkeeper Savanna Wojtanowski. Michigan State answered in the 72nd minute, when senior Jamie Cheslik found an opening off a pass from junior Alexis Warner.
“I think things fell off a little bit in the second part of the first half and that’s some areas that we have to clean up,” Saxton said. “Some of the younger players just doing the little things consistently well. When they changed their tactics in the second half, we needed to make an adjustment. When they started kicking longer balls, I don’t think we adjusted quite quickly enough, but those are some teachable moments that we’ll work on. It’s a starting point. We’ll look at things tomorrow, talk about some lessons we can learn from it and have another little practice test up at Central (Michigan) on Saturday.”
The Spartans outshot the Rockets, 12-7, and garnered four corner kicks. Goalkeeper Reilley Ott earned one save in the first half, while Wojtanowski finished with three in the second half.
Michigan State heads to Mount Pleasant, Michigan to wrap up exhibition play against Central Michigan on Saturday, Aug. 12 at 1 p.m.