MSU men's soccer finds offense in two-game road trip
The MSU men’s soccer team returned satisfied from its road trip Wednesday after coming home 2-0 with a 3-1 win against conference rival Rutgers and a 1-0 victory over MAC opponent Bowling Green. The victories improve MSU's record to 5-3-1.
The Spartan offense appears to finally have woken itself up with four goals in the past two games, ending a three-game scoreless drought that resulted in two losses in the previous home stand.
MSU began the road trip on Friday evening taking on Rutgers in which the Spartans barraged the Scarlet Knights with early offense. Freshman forward Ryan Sierakowski started the attack in the third minute when he capitalized off of a shot rebounded off of Rutgers goalkeeper David Greczek and poked it past for an unassisted goal.
Offense continued just minutes after when Sierakowski crossed the ball to the center of the box where sophomore midfield Ken Krolicki put one in during the sixth minute and put the Spartans at an early 2-0 lead.
The third and final goal for MSU came in the 71st minute when Sierakowski put one past Greczek for his second goal of the day, with the assist coming from Krolicki.
The Spartans have been looking to crush that offensive chip on their shoulder and they did just that with this road trip.
“[Coach] Damon talked to me before the game and he said I need to produce and I need to do my job, which is scoring goals”, Sierakowski said. “So I just wanted to help the team as much as I possibly could”.
MSU finished up their road trip on Tuesday evening when they beat Bowling Green in a close 1-0 victory. The goal came late in the game in the 88th minute when senior midfield Jason Stacy stole a ball and passed it to freshman forward DeJuan Jones who scored the lone goal in the contest.
This offensive burst was much needed and it looks like the antidote to the recent offensive struggles lies within contributions from underclassmen, such as Sierakowski, Krolicki and Jones.
“It feels really good and we definitely needed it” senior defender Zach Carroll said. “We had three really tough games in a row against top-ten opponents where we played well but didn’t get results, and so to go and win two games where we needed wins was really good for us.”
The Spartans will now look forward to play the Ohio State Buckeyes this Sunday at home. The Buckeyes, who currently sit in the bottom of the Big Ten, have picked up play recently and have not lost in its last four games.
“Honestly our game plan doesn’t change too much” head coach Damon Rensing said in an interview on Thursday. “We might tweak some things things here and there, but it’s nothing that Ohio State doesn’t know. We’re going to try and build a game when we can, gain some territory and create chances”.
Kickoff for Sunday’s game is at 1 p.m. at DeMartin Stadium, or can be seen on Big Ten Network.