No. 8 seeded MSU topped by No. 9 Penn State in Big Ten Tournament
The men’s soccer team’s season came to an uneventful end on Saturday after the No. 8 seeded Spartans were booted during the first round of the Big Ten Tournament.
The Spartans traveled to Columbus, Ohio to take on the No. 9 seed Penn State Nittany Lions for the first round of the Big Ten Tournament, during which they were knocked off in overtime 2-1.
Head coach Damon Rensing talked to the media following the game, courtesy of MSU athletics.
“We got out to a really good start. I think we outshot Penn State 11-1 in the first half,” Rensing told msuspartans.com. “To have nothing to show for that was tough because I thought that we deserved at least a goal or two. We gave up one early in the second half, but credit our guys they just put their heads down and we really played well the last 42 minutes of the second half. We got the tying goal and had a chance to win it, but that’s soccer.”
It was a hard-fought duel for both teams, with Penn State drawing blood first. The Nittany Lions scored their first goal of the game in the 49th minute when Dayonn Harris ripped a shot that was deflected by Spartan goalkeeper Zach Bennett, but Harris poked it into the net when the deflected ball came right back to him.
But the Spartans didn’t go down without a fight. MSU freshman forward Ryan Sierakowski tied the game up with his goal during the 63rd minute with the help of sophomore midfielder Ken Krolicki when Krolicki’s shot was deflected off of Penn State’s goalkeeper Evan Finney, but Sierakowski was there for the rebound.
As regulation wound down, a short-lived sudden-death overtime ensued for the Spartans, but Penn State drove in the final nail in the Spartans’ coffin during the 95th minute, when midfielder Brian James scored from 12 yards out to win it all for the Nittany Lions.
Rensing also had a lot to say about this season, about his seniors and the underclassmen that developed so much throughout the course of the year.
“(I’m) very proud of this team,” Rensing said. “Our younger players have really developed because of how our seniors led and showed them how we should play. We didn’t execute everything perfectly, and we didn’t win every game, but I think we were doing things that are going to make us better in the future.”
The Spartans will take a few weeks to gather themselves before recruiting season starts up. As for Penn State, they were knocked off on Sunday by No. 1 seed Ohio State University 1-0 in overtime.