BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - Michigan State women's soccer picked up their second win of the season against Samford on Sunday at the Samford Soccer Complex. The Spartans' first road win was sealed by a goal in the 85th minute from senior forward Jamie Cheslik. MSU improves to 2-2-0, while Samford falls to 0-4-0.
"It was a classic team effort," MSU head coach Tom Saxton said. "It was an emotional win for us. Against a potent team like Samford, we were looking for people to step up, and what was fantastic was that we got a lot of contributions from all over the field. We were able to score some really nice goals, too. Credit to [Samford] and their grind. It was hot down here. Samford had the momentum after they tied it. We fought really hard and were able to stay in it."
The Spartan offense ignited in the first half, snapping a two-game scoring drought in the 22nd minute of the game. Senior midfielder Morgan McKerchie netted her first goal of the season off a pass from junior forward Lexy Warner. Cheslik earned the second assist, her first point of the season.
The Bulldogs swayed the momentum in the 28th minute of the match when Samford forward Jermaine Seoposenwe broke away from the Spartan defense, beating redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Reilley Ott in a one-on-one. Michigan State responded quickly, gaining the lead back in the 29th minute. Senior forward Kristelle Yewah got a header past Samford goalkeeper Anna Maddox, assisted by freshman midfielder Danielle Stephan.
The Bulldogs struck first in the second half with another goal from Seoposenwe in the 62nd minute. Michigan State held on defensively, fending off several shots by Samford throughout the half. In the 85th minute of the match, Cheslik snuck the ball into the net off a quick restart after a Samford foul. Stephan notched her second assist of the day.
"Stephan made a great soccer decision at the end," Saxton said. "She helped Jamie Cheslik to get the winning goal and then we held on. Again, a great team effort overall."
Redshirt goalkeeper Reilley Ott made a season-high 10 saves in the victory, recording a stellar 90 minutes for the Spartans.
"It was such an impressive performance," Saxton said. "She did a great job. Without Michaela [Kovacs] in the back, we were both disjointed at times and inexperienced. That's when our goalkeeper had to be her best, and Reilley certainly was today. She also did a great job managing the clock with her distribution. It was a big-time match for Reilley today."
MSU heads to Bowling Green, Ohio for a match with Bowling Green on Friday, Sept. 1. Kick is set for 7 p.m.