Brown's Late Goal Boosts Spartans Past Wildcats, 2-1
Oct. 6, 2006
EVANSTON, Ill. - It's no surprise for the Michigan State women's soccer team that a freshman scored the game-winning goal on Friday evening at Northwestern, as all five of the team's game-winners have been served by rookies this year.
What is a surprise is that it was midfielder Megan Brown (Portage, Mich./Central) scoring her first goal in a Spartan uniform in the 80th minute that helped lift Michigan State to a 2-1 win against Big Ten Conference foe Northwestern.
"I'm very happy for our team because of the tough start we've had in the Big Ten season," head coach Tom Saxton said. "Today, we pulled out a win late in the game and hopefully, that can turn things around for us and we can get going here."
Sophomore Kristi Timar (Novi, Mich./Novi) assisted on Brown's goal and also added the game's first tally in the 19th minute to help pace the Spartan offense, which took 12 shots.
The Spartans (5-6-1, 1-3 Big Ten) came out of a midfield scrum with the ball in the 80th minute and Timar was able to clear a pass into the goalbox for Brown, who came off the bench to play 43 minutes, who delivered a one-timer into the net from 15 yards out to help stop a three-game losing skid. The third-place Wildcats fell to 7-6 and 3-2 in the Big Ten.
Senior defender Jenee Witherspoon (Midland, Mich./Midland) got a pass to junior Breana Ballard (Battle Creek, Mich./Lakeview) on the right side of the field in the 19th minute to help the Spartans take a 1-0 lead. Ballard beat a defender and broke free down the side. She crossed the ball into the goalbox where Timar was waiting, and was able to tap the ball in for her second goal of the season.
"It was one of the prettiest goals of the season," Saxton said.
The Wildcats evened the game in the second half, as Zendzi Neal scored in the 57th minute, setting up Brown's late dramatics.
Junior goalkeeper Nicole Galas (Sterling Heights, Mich./Bishop Foley) made six saves, including the last shot of the game in the 82nd minute to wrap up the win. Northwestern's keeper, Lauren Johnston, made two stops.
"In the first minutes she was unbelieveable," Saxton said of Galas, who made three saves in the first 10 minutes. "They came out coming right at us and Nicole kept us in the game."
State heads to Wisconsin for a Big Ten match with the Badgers, ranked eighth in the Great Lakes region by SoccerBuzz.com, on Sunday at 2 p.m.
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