MSU Women's Soccer shuts out Michigan
The MSU women's soccer team clashed with in-state rival Michigan Friday at DeMartin Stadium, winning the game by a score of 3-0. The clean sheet gave the Spartans their first victory against their in-state rival since 2011.
MSU got the scoring going quickly, with true-freshman Michaela Kovacs netting the first goal for the team just 46 seconds into the game.
“I was definitely in shock when I first looked back at the clock,” Kovacs said to describe how she felt after netting one so early.
Later in the half, the Spartans suffered a bit of a scare when senior defenders Alexandra Gjonaj and Mary Kathryn Fiebernitz collided in mid-air when both attempted to head the ball. Both defenders were sidelined for the remainder of the half.
MSU got back to scoring halfway through the second half with goals from sophomore Kristelle Yewah and senior Erica Goodenough. Both the goals, in addition to the first of the game, were assisted by sophomore forward Jamie Cheslik.
“I just look to see who’s open. I try to make the play as easy as possible,” Cheslik said about what goes through her mind when setting up teammates on the field.
After the third goal, it was clear the Spartans had victory in their sights, as they winded down their forward pressure that had been pestering Michigan all game, and focused more on defending their well-built lead.
Redshirt-senior goaltender Gabrielle Gauruder finished the game with two saves and her fourth clean sheet of the season.
“I think that this is some of the best soccer we’ve ever played,” Gauruder said. “This season has been so different from any other season that I’ve been here for. I think our team just has so much passion and energy.”
Coach Tom Saxton described Friday’s win against the bitter rival as “extra sweet.” Out of all the teams he’s coached in his 25 years at MSU, Saxton says what sticks out the most about this year’s team is “the connection between the players and the determination to go out and play good and strong defensively, work hard in fifty-fifties, and then take advantage of opportunities. They’ve been consistent in that.”
With the win, the Spartans, the Spartans improve to 6-1-3, and will look to extend their unbeaten streak in conference-play next Friday, Oct. 2, in New Jersey against Rutgers.