Aug. 11, 2012
Milwaukee, Wis. -- - The Michigan State women's soccer team took a 1-0 exhibition victory over Horizon League favorite UW-Milwaukee on Saturday afternoon. It was the lone pre-season action for the Spartans in advance of the 2012 opener next Friday at Bowling Green.
"We were all pleased today with a solid performance against a strong team," said head coach Tom Saxton, who is in his 22nd season at the helm of the women's program. "We were able to get our young players some important game experience, which was one of our objectives going into the match. It is always nice to win, even an exhibition. We can now turn our attention to our regular-season opener with some overall confidence that we are moving in the right direction."
Sophomore Lisa Vogel had the lone marker for the Spartans in the 56th minute, finishing off a pass from senior Jordan Mueller. The teams had battled through a scoreless opening half, as junior Courtney Clem drew the start in goal for the Spartans and recorded one first-half save. Clem also had to contend with four opening-half corner kicks by the Panthers, who had three shots in the half as well.
Clem had one save in the first half, before making way for freshman Nicole Pond who made her MSU debut when she opened the second half in net. Pond played just over 21 minutes and had one save, and sophomore Gabrielle Gauruder finished out the game for MSU. Nearly every field player saw action for the Spartans in addition to all three goalkeepers, and each of the 10 freshmen had an opportunity to see the field.
The defense improved as the game went on, as the Panthers were held without a corner kick in the second half (after four in the first) and had just one shot on net in the second frame.
The Spartans return to a week of training back on campus, and officially open the season at MAC entry Bowling Green next Friday evening at 7 p.m. MSU's home opener is next Sunday against Fordham.