MAPLE CITY, Mich. - The Michigan State women's soccer team played its only exhibition game of the new season on Friday afternoon, taking on Virginia in Maple City. The Cavaliers, which enter the season ranked No. 3 the nation, won the game, 2-1. The match was played in three, 30-minute segments.
"We got off to a good start and I was really encouraged with our first group that we started," said MSU head coach Tom Saxton. "One of the points we wanted to emphasize in the game was good defensive organization and I thought we did a pretty good job. We did an okay job on defensive restarts. As the second half went on, we subbed a lot and they started to control more of the game.
"We also obviously wanted to do individual evaluations as well as we prepare for the regular season to begin next week, so we got a good look at a lot of players. Overall, I thought it was positive."
The Spartans didn't waste any time in getting going as freshman Jamie Cheslik knocked in a loose ball off a corner kick in the second minute of play. Paige Wester delivered the ball off a corner kick and Cheslik put it in.
"Jamie was one of a few newcomers that made some nice contributions today. It was good to see that," said Saxton.
Virginia tied the game in the 19th minute. Both teams traded scoring chances in the second 30-minute segment of the match. Nicole Caruso rang a shot off the corner of the goal, while a UVA penalty kick hit the crossbar and bounced high, keeping it a 1-1 game.
The Cavaliers eventually pulled ahead with a goal in the final 30 minutes of play.
Michigan State will play its first regular-season games next weekend when it heads to California. The Spartans will take on San Diego State on Friday and then Cal State Fullerton on Sunday.