Oct. 12, 2011
East Lansing, Mich. - Megan Marsack and Laura Heyboer each scored second-half markers and senior keeper Jill Flietstra made five saves in her seventh shutout of the year as Michigan State downed Michigan, 2-0, at DeMartin Stadium on Wednesday afternoon. MSU improves to 11-4, 4-3 in Big Ten play, while sending its rival to an 8-5-2 overall mark and 3-3-1 in Conference play.
The backstory to this rivalry game was that each of the last four games had ended in a tie, including scoreless draws in each of the last two meetings. The first half continued that trend, as MSU held a significant edge in shots but could not get on the board. With three minutes remaining, the Spartans had their closest call, as Heyboer fed Olivia Stander off a corner play, and Stander's rocket ricocheted off the right post. The rebound came 10 yards out for Kelsey Kassab, who sent a low, hard shot netward, but Haley Kopmeyer had a hand on it at the last minute to swat it out of harm's way.
MSU opened the second half with a scoring chance in the 52nd minute, as Stander's shot went just over the crossbar. It took until the final 20 minutes for the scoring to begin.
The first goal for MSU materialized off a corner play. Stander sent it in from the right corner, and three different players got a head on it before it fell onto the foot of Marsack, who powered it into the left side for her first collegiate tally in the 71st minute. Six minutes later, Megan Pines sent a lead pass for Heyboer, who went in with a defender on her hip and beat the goalie for her 16th goal of the season.
Marsack's tally ended a streak of 330:46 of scoreless soccer played between the teams, dating back to a 1-1 2008 season.
The Spartans will be back in action on Sunday afternoon at Indiana. MSU returns to East Lansing for a pair of games with Penn State (Oct. 21) and Ohio State (Oct. 23).