It must have been a birthday sense, because even before the game Allyson Krause knew she would score on her 20th birthday.
The sophomore forward didn’t know when, but with just less than two minutes left in the match, Krause took a pass from the corner.
She bobbed and weaved around defenders, got a shot off and her feeling came true. She knocked the ball into the upper left corner of the net to ice the game and help MSU (8-5-2 overall, 2-5-0 Big Ten) to the 4-0 victory over Purdue (8-6-1, 3-4-0).
MSU’s four goals was the most the Spartans have scored in a Big Ten game since they beat Ohio State, 5-1, on Oct. 10, 2008.
“It was special,” Krause said. “I had the one-on-one so I took the chance, shot it left foot and was able to get it in the back of the net.”
The Spartans got off to a hot start when they scored just a minute and a half into the game.
Junior midfielder Megan Marsack made a nice pass to junior forward Paige Wester and Wester was able to knock it over Purdue goalkeeper Clara Kridler’s head.
MSU was able to score again midway through the first half when Krause got taken down inside the box, awarding MSU with a penalty kick.
Sophomore Mary Kathryn Fiebernitz, who has been an offensive weapon for head coach Tom Saxton, took the penalty kick and knocked it past Kridler to put MSU up, 2-0.
“Getting that early goal made them believe in themselves and we got some momentum going,” Saxton said.
In the 78th minute, Marsack assisted another goal when she gave the ball up to freshman midfielder Marisa Oleksiak on the left side and got a shot off to roll past Kridler to put MSU up 3-0.
With the exception of a couple games, the Spartans have struggled all season to create offense and often have allowed opponents to control much of the game. The Spartans have focused on finishing and their attack game the last couple weeks and finally it paid off.
“It felt absolutely amazing,” Fiebernitz said. “It takes pressure off (the defense) so we’re not defending the whole game… Everyone on attack did very well and I’m very pleased.”
MSU will face another tough test Sunday afternoon at DeMartin Stadium when they face Indiana (10-3-1, 3-3-0).
Goalkeeper shuffle continues
Junior goalkeeper Courtney Clem came into the season as the No. 1 keeper, but after a rough patch against Wisconsin and Michigan, Saxton turned to Gauruder for most of the Michigan game after Clem gave up two goals in less than 15 minutes.
Gauruder got the nod once again against Iowa where she forced a double-overtime game. Though she couldn’t pick up a win, Gauruder picked up a career-high 11 saves and was five minutes away from a tie, when an unlucky deflection gave Hawkeyes the win.
Saxton and the coaching staff said the spot would be decided on a game-by-game basis and turned to Clem again for the Ohio State game. After 80 minutes, however, Saxton turned to Gauruder after Clem gave up three goals.
Saxton then decided to give Gauruder another starting spot against Purdue. Gauruder picked up five saves including a couple tough saves to help keep momentum on MSU’s side.
“(Gauruder’s) been very solid all week and ready to step into her moment,” Saxton said. “She made a great save in a crucial time of the match, we were up 2-0 and they were putting a lot of pressure on us. It was a key save, (it) kept things going. They get a goal there, things change quickly. She stepped up big when we needed her and we’re confident with her in there.”
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After her goal early in the game, Wester was trying to steal the ball when she collided with a Purdue player and immediately went down with a right knee injury.
After a couple minutes, Wester was able to walk off the field under her own power, but did not return.
Wester was in just her sixth game back after sitting out five weeks because of a right knee injury she sustained against Buffalo.
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