Chippewas Come Back to Steal 3-2 Win From Spartans
Aug. 25, 2006
EAST LANSING, Mich. - Michigan State freshman Lauren Hill (Northville, Mich./Northville) charged ahead of the defense and fired a shot as the clock wound down its final five seconds, but Central Michigan keeper Anne Decker covered the shot with a save, ensuring Central Michigan's 3-2 win over the Michigan State women's soccer team in the season-opener on Friday afternoon at Old College Field.
Molly Gerst scored the game-winner for the Chippewas (1-0) in the 88th minute, as she got a dish from Rosamaria Rago near the goal line and 12 yards out to the right. She fired a high shot that hit the inside of the top crossbar and trickled into the net, setting the stage for Decker's game-saving play just a minute and a half later.
"I knew it would be a tough game," head coach Tom Saxton said of Central Michigan, which was predicted to finish first in the preseason Mid-American Conference Coaches' Poll. "We just had some breakdowns. We'll have to learn from our mistakes."
After a first half that saw just 11 shots and one Central Michigan goal in the 34th minute from Alison Heydorn off a rebound, the second half turned out to be a battle of high-powered offenses, as the teams each scored twice.
The Spartans (0-1) regrouped from the initial setback to put immediate pressure on the Chippewas, in a half in which they took 14 shots. Sophomore Lauren Carter (Rochester Hills, Mich./Stoney Creek) caught the goalkeeper out of position in the 52nd minute, but Amber Delvecchio made a goal-saving block at the net.
The Spartans finally rallied to tie the score just two minutes later, as Hill hit the left post with a shot from 15 yards out on the right side and sophomore Kristi Timar (Novi, Mich./Novi) was there to kick in the rebound. The Spartans took the lead in the 66th minute, as sophomore Michelle Telebar (Oakville, Ontario/St. Ignatius) knocked in a rebound after the goalkeeper redirected a cross.
The Chippewas wouldn't die, though, as Jacquie Lacek, a two-time All-Mid-American Conference forward, drew a foul in the penalty box and converted the penalty kick in the 75th minute.
Even then, the Spartans kept creating chances, breaking in front of the defense three times in the last 15 minutes before Decker made game-saving stops each time.
Decker finished with nine saves for Central Michigan and the team knocked two shots away at the goal line, as the Spartans fired 21 shots.
Michigan State keeper Nicole Galas (Sterling Heights, Mich./Bishop Foley) made six saves, as the Chippewas took 14 shots.
Michigan State will look to get on the other side of the ledger on Sunday afternoon as it travels to Kalamazoo to face Western Michigan in a 1 p.m. game.
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