On Sunday afternoon the men’s soccer team played the Loyola-Chicago Ramblers on a brisk partly-sunny day in DeMartin Soccer Stadium. MSU managed to win 1-0 with a solid defensive performance from beginning to end.
“I thought it was a gutsy team win ... we pressed them pretty high up the field and got some turnovers,” head coach Damon Rensing said. “We never really let them get to deep, (Ryan) Keener and (Zach) Carroll were pretty solid back there ... just good solid team defense from the forwards all the way to the backs.”
MSU’s defense gave the Ramblers fits, holding them to only two shots in the first half and that shot didn’t come until the 29:28 mark. However, the Spartan offense couldn’t quite play at the level of the defense. Despite totaling eight shots in the first half, MSU just wasn’t quite able to sink one in the net. Of the eight shots, Ramblers junior goalkeeper Tim Dombrowski was only forced to make two saves.
The first half could only be described as a defensive battle with neither team able to score or get much going offensively.
The Ramblers couldn’t keep the Spartans off the board for too long as MSU got things going offensively with a header from junior midfielder Jay Chapman , his first goal of the season after missing the first two games due to an injury. The goal was scored at the 60:14 mark with the assist came from junior midfielder Jason Stacy .
“It was a good cross from Jason (Stacy), I credit him for that, it kind of just came right to me. ... I kind of just tried to put it on target and it went in,” Chapman said after the game on Sunday.
The second half was no different for the MSU defense. The Ramblers weren’t able to get a shot off in the second half until the 75:53 mark, just over 30 minutes into the second half.
The lone goal from Chapman was all the Spartans needed as the MSU defense dominated the game holding Loyola-Chicago to only four shots in the 90 minute contest. Junior goalkeeper Zach Bennett was forced to make just one save, an easy one in the first half.
After allowing the first goal of the season last game the Defense got back on track pulling out another shutout, making it four shutouts in five games this season.
“Me, (Ryan) Keener and Zach (Carroll) really wanted to get back on that shutout bandwagon,” Bennett said. “We kind of made it our mission before the game, no matter what happened ... no matter the circumstances we we’re going to stick together and try and get that shutout.”
MSU next plays against Maryland on Sept. 19 at 8 p.m. in what will be their first Big Ten game of the season.
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