Aug. 24, 2012
WATCH: Women's Soccer Highlights
East Lansing, Mich. - Michigan State improved to 3-0 on the season with a 3-1 victory over Loyola (Md.) on Friday afternoon at DeMartin Stadium. MSU had three different goal scorers and keeper Courtney Clem made four saves for the Spartans.
"I thought that they were pretty motivated today, and they really brought it to us hard," admitted head coach Tom Saxton. " The heat played a factor, too - we had a lot of subs today for fresh legs. I thought we managed it well, and I liked how we managed the end of the game in particular.
"Im really happy to see that we are continuing to make progress," continued Saxton. "One of the big things we talked about all pre-season was developing chemistry, with so many new faces and so many players assuming new roles. I'm quite happy with how that's taking shape. We really are seeing more and more progress with every practice and game."
The teams traded goals midway through the opening frame. In the 17th minute, Paige Wester scored for the Spartans off assists from Jordan Mueller and Lisa Vogel; it was Wester's first tally of the season. The sophomore's offering bounced high past and over the keeper and into the left side of the net. Loyola countered with an equalizer in the 23rd minute. Nichole Schiro finished off a pass from Gigi Mangione for her second marker of the year.
Senior Chelsea Peterson gave the Spartans a 2-1 lead with 12 minutes left in the half. Peterson and Allyson Krause converged on a defender with the ball just above the box, and Krause tapped it to Peterson who shot from 10 yards and netted her first career goal. Rachel VanPoppelen's left-footed bid in the 38th minute nearly gave the Spartans a 3-1 lead, but keeper Didi Haracic punched it over the crossbar to keep her team within a goal.
Stander scored her first goal of the season in the 55th minute, off a feed from Alexandra Heffron. Stander's shot from the left side found the upper right corner. The Greyhounds had a golden opportunity to get the goal back when they were awarded a penalty kick in the 58th minute, but Mangione's shot caromed off the crossbar.
MSU will be back in action on Sunday, when it hosts Cal State Fullerton in a noon kickoff. It's the opening half of another doubleheader for Spartan soccer, and it also serves as Alumni Weekend for both programs. The MSU women's soccer alumni will be honored at halftime of the game.
"Fullerton will be our toughest challenge of the year so far," said Saxton. "They are a very good side, and will pose some tough matchups. We're really looking forward to it."