Women's Soccer Thwarted By Minnesota, 7-1
Freshman Alexandra Thomas scores first goal of her career.
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. -
An injury-ridden Michigan State women's soccer team fell to Minnesota, 7-1, on Sunday afternoon at Elizabeth Lyle Robbie Stadium. Twenty-three Spartans saw action in the match, four of which were on the field in the Green and White for the first time this season.
The first half of the match was controlled by Minnesota, with three unanswered goals. In the 15th minute of the game, the Spartans got an opportunity with a yellow card called on Minnesota. Freshman midfielder Danielle Stephan took the free kick, but the shot was just a little too high, hitting the crossbar and depositing above the net.
"It comes down to the first few minutes of the game," Michigan State head coach, Tom Saxton, said. "We did get beat up a bit at Wisconsin. We braced ourselves for having to be patient and stubborn in terms of defending in the first few minutes. The first couple goals put us back on our heels, and then we settled in. Unfortunately, a third goal before halftime was really a tough situation."
In the second half, Minnesota continued their offensive frenzy, adding another four goals. The Spartans kept pushing, creating a chance in the 67th minute of the game. Freshman forward Alexandra Thomas notched her first collegiate goal on a breakaway, beating Minnesota's goalkeeper and sending the ball into the back of the net.
"Minnesota is a very good team with juniors and seniors. They were disappointed after their 2-2 tie with Michigan on Thursday night and needed points at home on their alumni day. They came at us and broke the game wide open," Saxton said. "I think the only bright spot for us is we got to get a lot of pressure on them. Almost everybody on our roster played, and everybody on the trip played. That's a bright spot because they went out there and worked really hard and got a goal back towards the end."
Redshirt sophomore Reilley Ott made two saves in the first half, and redshirt senior Savanna Wojtanowski saved two in the second.
The Spartans return home for matches with Nebraska on Friday, Sept. 29 (6 p.m.) and Iowa on Sunday, Oct. 1 (12 p.m.). Both matches will be streamed on BTN Plus.
"We have to get our confidence back in our team defending, which was very good against Wisconsin on Thursday night. It was one of those days with the inconsistency of a young team. We have to get that back on the right track," Saxton said of the upcoming matches. "I do think this was a product of tired legs today, but we've got to get back to moving the ball better. I thought we played probably our best game of the season Thursday night and just were unfortunate at the end. We had a down day today, but again credit to our young players for going out there and playing hard and never quitting. It's great to have that silver lining."