Men's soccer drops regular season finale to Indiana, 4-1
The MSU Spartans (now 8-8-2) dropped their final game of the regular season on Wednesday against Big Ten rival Indiana (now 11-4-2). The Hoosiers outscored the Spartans 4-1 in their final game before the Big Ten Tournament, which begins on Sunday.
Head coach Damon Rensing was adamant about his players' performances when he spoke to the media after the game.
“In our program it’s unacceptable to give up four goals in a game,” Rensing said. “So if we want to be good as a team moving forward, and I think we’re capable of, we’ve got to get back to what we are about and that is defending first.”
Indiana came sprinting right out of the gate when they scored their first goal during the eighth minute. Hoosiers defender Derek Creviston headed one past Spartan goalkeeper Zach Bennett on a corner kick by Hoosiers midfielder Tanner Thompson.
The Hoosiers’ second goal came during the 11th minute, when Thompson again got one past Bennett off of a direct kick. Thomson’s goal was unassisted.
Indiana’s third goal of the came at the end of the 35th minute, when Hoosier forward Femi Hollinger-Janzen chipped it over the Spartan defense. Midfielders Jeremiah Gutjahr and Rece Buckmaster were given assists on the play.
Indiana’s fourth and final goal of the game came in 69th minute when Hoosier midfielder Ballard put one past Bennett. Hollinger-Janzen was given the assist.
However, MSU still showed signs of life during the second half, with a goal by senior midfield Kyle Rutz in the 53rd minute. Rutz was able to shoot it past Hoosiers goalkeeper Colin Webb with the help of freshman defender Connor Corrigan. Although it was MSU’s only goal, the Spartans fought with the Hoosiers until the clock hit 0:00.
But the Spartans were also unable to capitalize on multiple offensive opportunities, which has plagued the team all season. There wasn’t a single Spartan shooter who shot the ball more than three times during the whole game.
“I don’t doubt that we have the talent we’ve just been struggling to put it together,” sophomore defender Jimmy Fiscus said after Wednesday’s game. “Games like this show how we’re still a young and naive team and we need to mature a lot before we go somewhere, but hopefully we can pick our game up before heading to the Big Ten Tournament.”
And if this loss wasn’t already salt in the Spartan’s wounds, senior defender Zach Carroll left the game early with a stomach virus..
The Spartans have really dug themselves into a hole in recent games, dropping key conference games against Northwestern (1-0), U-M (1-0) and now Indiana (4-1). Since their game against Northwestern, the Spartans have dropped four places in the Big Ten standings.
The Spartans will head into the Big Ten Tournament and play the No. 9 Penn State.