MSU suffered another late defeat, this time at the hands of Big Ten newcomer Rutgers, 1-0.
The Spartans (6-3 overall, 0-3 Big Ten) and Scarlet Knights were tied at zero after the first game’s 88 minutes, but Rutgers broke through with a goal in the 89th minute to finish off MSU.
Rutgers junior forward Samantha Valliant took a free kick from 20 yards out on the left side and beat MSU redshirt senior goalkeeper Courtney Clem with a shot that finished in the back right corner of the net.
Valliant’s first collegiate goal could not have come at a better time, as she helped give the Spartans their third consecutive loss to open the Big Ten.
Rutgers lost its first ever Big Ten game to Maryland, but with the win Friday night, it registered its first ever conference win.
The Spartans have gotten off to a rough start, but head coach Tom Saxton knew the conference slate would be no cake walk.
"Every team we play in this league is going to be a quality team," Saxton said in a team release. "We're a good team too and we'll never be an easy game for anybody, but I think our young players are still adjusting to the physicality of this league.”
Speaking to the physicality Saxton talked about, both teams drew yellow cards in the match. It was an MSU yellow card, however, that led to the game-winning goal off the Rutgers free kick.
MSU will have less than 48 hours to prepare for their next opponent, Maryland. The contest will take place at 1 p.m. ET on Sunday in College Park, Md.
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