Spartans Suffer First Loss, 1-0
Aug. 26, 2012
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East Lansing, Mich. -- - Michigan State suffered its first loss on the season, a 1-0 decision against Cal State Fullerton on Sunday afternoon at DeMartin Stadium. Courtney Clem made four saves in the tough shutout loss for MSU, which is now 3-1-0 on the season. Cal State Fullerton earns its first victory of the year, and is now 1-3-0 after three one-goal losses to start the season.
"I think we came out in second and accepted the challenge, and put a lot of good pressure on Fullerton," said head coach Tom Saxton. The good news is that we played good soccer in the second half. We lost to a good team ; a team that posed the biggest challenges to us of any team we've played yet this year."
Both teams generated chances, in the opening frame, but neither team was able to get on the scoreboard.
Michigan State had a flurry of opportunities that came up empty over a two -minute span midway through the second half; Olivia Stander's left-footed chance caromed off the left post, as did Chelsea Peterson's shot from 20 yards out less than a minute later. In the 65th minute, a loose ball in the box was batted around by several players, and Lisa Vogel finally gained control to head it netward, but keeper Katie Pulliam got her hands on it to keep it scoreless.
Fullerton made the Spartans pay two minutes later at the other end. Off a restart, several players were deep in the box, trying to clear the net in front of Courtney Clem, and Stacey Fox executed a nice slide-shot that trickled into the back of the Spartan net for the first goal of the game.
The Spartans had a some good chances at an equalizer. In the 82nd minute, Alexandra Gjonaj's strike was punched away by the keeper. The Spartans had a free kick from about 30 yards in the 87th minute, but Vogel's header sailed wide.
After two straight weekends with two games, Michigan State will next play on Sunday, Sept. 2 at DeMartin Stadium against Akron.
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