Sept. 27, 2013
EAST LANSING, Mich. - The Michigan State women's soccer team picked up its first Big Ten win of the season over Minnesota on Friday afternoon. MSU beat the Gophers 3-0 in their third shutout of the season thanks to goals from Allyson Krause, Mary Kathryn Fiebernitz and Megan Marsack. Head coach Tom Saxton is proud of their win, but looks forward to a tough weekend of Big Ten play.
"These double weekends in the Big Ten are grueling," said Saxton. "It's just about recovery. You have to have a kind of 24-hour rule. Let them enjoy this, but tomorrow we're going to game plan for Wisconsin."
The Spartans got off to a quick start in their second Big Ten game of the season. Within the first two minutes of play, Jessica White and Rachel Van Poppelen took consecutive headers off a corner kick from Kirsten Evans, but Gopher goalkeeper Tarah Hobbs got her hands on both to keep the team out of the net.
Krause brought the Spartans an early lead in the 21st minute of play. White fed the ball to Krause for a clear shot at the net from eight yards out. It was her third goal of the season.
Fiebernitz propelled the team forward going into halftime with the team's second goal of the day. With three minutes left in the first half, Fiebernitz headed it into the net off a corner kick from Alexandra Gjonaj.
Michigan State's defense showed up in full with strong play in the first half from senior Kelsey Mullen. Goalkeeper Courtney Clem totaled four saves in the first half, including an impressive dive to block Taylor Wodnick's shot to the right side of the net at the 38th minute, keeping the Gopher's scoreless in the first half.
Ten minutes from the end of the game, Marsack scored her first goal of the season. She nudged the ball into the net off a cross from Krause. Paige Wester set up the play for the squad.
Gjonaj looked to add another goal in the last minute of play with a long shot saved by Gopher goalkeeper Hobbs. She ended the game with nine saves. Haley Helverson led the Gophers in shots on goal with three.
Clem established a career high in saves with 12. Her previous high was nine against Oakland on Sept. 5. It is the team's third shutout of the season and Clem's second when playing the full game.
"I think it was the best game of her career and I told her that," said Saxton. "They were dangerous and she was very sharp. I thought they took their chances well and Courtney stuffed them every time. That was nice to see."
The Spartans will faceoff with Wisconsin on Sunday, Sept. 29 at 1 p.m. when they celebrate Youth and Camper Appreciation Day at DeMartin Stadium.