Spartans Drop Heartbreaker to Illinois, 3-2
Illini's DiBernardis records a hat trick in victory
Oct. 4, 2012
East Lansing, Mich. -- - Vanesa DiBernardo's hat trick - including the game-winner in the 84th minute - propelled Illinois to a win over Michigan State on Thursday evening. MSU falls to 8-4-2, and is now 2-3-1 in Big Ten play. The Illini, who posted two double-overtime victories over the Spartans last season, extend their unbeaten streak against MSU to six games with the one-goal victory.
The Spartans twice held the lead in the game - Olivia Stander's fifth goal of the season gave MSU the first score of the game as her shot from the left side caromed off the hands of keeper Steph Panozzo and into the side netting. DiBernardo's first of the night came midway through the opening half - she was awarded a penalty shot when her shot was blocked, and the rebound bounced inadvertently off the hands of a Spartan defender in the box. She lined up for the penalty kick, and beat Courtney Clem to her left.
DiBernardo scored in the 68th minute to once again knot the score. Her shot was an absolute rocket on a give-and-go, hitting inside of the crossbar and bouncing back out. She finished her hat trick - the second of her career with a pretty seeing-eye shot that curved inside the right post from 23 yards out.
Clem finished with five saves on the night.
MSU was outshot by a 22-17 margin, including a 9-7 edge in shots on net. Illinois had five corners to MSU's two.
The Spartans are idle the remainder of the week, during which they will prepare for a midweek showdown with Michigan next Wednesday in Ann Arbor at 7 p.m. MSU will next play at home on Oct. 14 against Indiana.