Sept. 29, 2013
EAST LANSING, Mich. - The Michigan State women's soccer team dropped just its second game of the season on Sunday, falling to No. 18 Wisconsin, 2-0, on an overcast day at DeMartin Stadium. The Spartans are now 7-2-2 on the year and 1-2 in the Big Ten. The Badgers got both goals from Kinley McNicoll as they improved to 7-1-2 overall and 2-0-1 in conference play.
"I thought it was a good college soccer game against a nationally-ranked opponent," said MSU head coach Tom Saxton. "We went end-to-end with them and it came down to plays in the box, as it always does in our sport, and they made them and we didn't. Some of it was lack of execution on our part and some of it was bad luck."
Wisconsin grabbed a 1-0 lead in the 27th minute on an unassisted goal by Kinley McNicoll. McNicoll collected the ball just outside the box and then fired a shot from 16 yards out on the right side. MSU goalkeeper Courtney Clem got a piece of the shot, deflecting it to her right, but the ball bounced off the post and into the net.
Michigan State's best chance to tie the game came midway through the second half when Erica Goodenough took the ball past midfield into Wisconsin territory and fed Marisa Oleksiak down the left side with a perfect cross-field pass. Oleksiak made a move and got off a quick shot from 15 yards out. Her shot beat UW goalkeeper Genevieve Richard, but the ball bounced off the far side crossbar and the Badgers cleared the ball away.
The missed scoring chance for the Spartans was magnified as less than two minutes later an MSU foul inside the box gave the Badgers a penalty kick. McNicoll scored on the opportunity to give Wisconsin a 2-0 lead with just over 21 minutes to play in the game.
"That's the way it goes sometime, but I was pleased with how we rebounded after that," said Saxton.
MSU pressed the Badgers in the final 15 minutes of the game, generating several opportunities. But Richard came up with ball each time, including making three stops all on shots from inside the penalty area over a two-minute span.
"Credit to our entire team for keeping the pressure on them, I think we got a little tired, but I was proud of the effort," said Saxton.
Wisconsin outshot the Spartans, 18-14, for the game. Richard finished with six saves, while Clem made four.
The Spartans will be back in action at home on Thursday when they host rival Michigan at 3 p.m. at DeMartin Stadium. The game will be broadcast live on BTN.