Sep 5, 2013
EAST LANSING, Mich. - The Michigan State and Oakland women's soccer teams played 110 minutes on Thursday afternoon at DeMartin Stadium in East Lansing, but couldn't settle much as they came away with a 1-1 tie. Oakland is now 1-3-1 on the year, while the Spartans remain undefeated at 3-0-2.
The Golden Grizzlies outshot the Spartans, 16-12, in the game, including by a 6-5 margin in the first half.
"Defensively, we weren't organized very well at all in the first half. We didn't do a good job of communicating," said MSU head coach Tom Saxton. "Courtney Clem and our back line were solid, but Oakland missed some good chances, too. I thought once we finally got organized and started to communicate, we were able to generate a lot more chances."
While Oakland kept the ball in the Spartans' half of the field for a balance of the first half, both teams had an equal amount of scoring chances in the frame. Clem came up big on Oakland's best chance of the half, stopping Kyla Kellerman from five yards out. Alexandra Gjonaj had the Spartans' best opportunity as she broke down the left side in the 42nd minute and fired a shot on goal, but OU goalkeeper Stephanie Bukovec got her left hand on the ball to deflect it away.
Oakland continued to press in the second half as it recorded the first seven shots of the frame. OU finally cashed in when Sarah Reynolds knocked in a loose ball off a corner kick to give the Golden Grizzlies the advantage in the 61st minute.
OU's lead didn't last long as the Spartans made good on a corner kick of their own just 1:05 later. Alexandra Gjonaj served a ball into the box and Mary Kathryn Fiebernitz headed it perfectly into the open net to tie the game at one.
"The timing of the goal was huge," said Saxton. "Mary Kathryn is a lethal weapon on head balls and hopefully she gets more of those."
After the tying the goal, the Spartans controlled a majority of the play, producing a flurry of chances and outshooting the Golden Grizzlies, 4-0, over the final 12 minutes of regulation.
Scoring opportunities for both teams were hard to come by in overtime as each team recorded a pair of shots in the two extra sessions.
Clem finished with nine saves, while Bukovec stopped three shots.
The Spartans will return to action on Sunday when they travel to New Mexico to take on the Lobos at 2 p.m. ET.
"We will have to at our absolute best out there," said Saxton. "They just played North Carolina and duke very tough, but we're going to use it as a growth experience."