Spartans Down Eastern Michigan, 2-0
Stander finishes with a goal, assist to lead offensive charge
East Lansing, Mich. -- - Michigan State defeated Eastern Michigan 2-0 Sunday afternoon at DeMartin Stadium to improve their record to 5-1-1 on the season. Senior Forward Olivia Stander led the Spartans with both a goal and an assist on the day.
After a scoreless first half, the Spartans found the scoring touch midway through the second half to break the game open and come away with a win. Michigan State outshot Eastern on the day 17-8 and 2-1 in corner kicks. MSU scored its first goal of the day in the 67th minute. Following a free kick, the ball was settled in the box by Allyson Krause, when Stander got the ball on her left foot and shot across the box passed the diving Jenna O'Dell and into the right side of the net to break the tie and put the Spartans up 1-0.
"I knew that I have been getting the opportunities for myself, the ball just wasn"t bouncing my way," said Stander. "I knew that if I kept working hard, eventually it would - and today it did."
Shortly after, Michigan State put home another goal to extend their lead to 2-0. Stander crossed the ball into the box, where Chelsea Peterson knocked the bouncing ball away from O'Dell and tapped it into the wide-open net. Alexandra Heffron also received an assist on the play.
Eastern Michigan had a goal called back in the 70th minute because of an offside call, but the Eagles kept pressing and had opportunities down the stretch to cut the lead to a goal. Michigan State goalie Courtney Clem denied any and all chances in that late Eastern push, and she finished six saves in the game and recorded her third shutout of the season.
"Courtney is a very strong goalkeeper and reader of the game," said head coach Tom Saxton. "When we had a couple of defensive mishaps at the end of the game, her ability to anticipate and recognize where she needed to be really earned her the shutout. Down the stretch she made the plays she needed to make to preserve the clean slate."
Michigan State plays again on Wednesday at home when they welcome Western Michigan for a 5 p.m. game at DeMartin Stadium. This is the Spartans last non-conference game before they start Big Ten play next Sunday against Purdue at home.