The men's soccer team (7-2-2 overall, 2-1-1 Big Ten) defeated the Wisconsin Badgers (2-8-1 overall, 0-4-0 Big Ten) 2-1 on a sunny day at DeMartin Soccer Stadium. The win was the only win of the season for the Spartans that wasn't a shutout victory.
With MSU rarely facing a deficit this season, this was the first time this season in which the Spartans earned a come-from-behind win.
It didn't take long for Wisconsin to take the lead, the badgers sophomore defender Matej Radonic put one in the back of the net off of a header at the 1:35 mark.
After the initial goal by Wisconsin the first half saw very little offensive action. There were only seven total shots in the half with MSU taking four and Wisconsin taking three.
During halftime, head coach Damon Rensing challenged his team, essentially telling them to man up in the second half.
"We challenged them (the team), (telling the team) college soccer is a man's game and you've got to step things up," Rensing said. "It's not just the physical play of it but the mental."
"You've got to be tuned in every time, on every play and I thought we were a little tuned out in the first half and we said hey we have to show up and get it going," Rensing said.
After trailing for nearly the entire first half, MSU responded to Rensing's challenge and came out firing in the second half, scoring two goals in less than 10 minutes into the second 45.
After MSU senior midfielder Fatai Alashe was taken down inside the penalty box, junior defender Zach Carroll took the penalty kick tying the game 1-1 at the 49:11 mark.
"Damon told me to go take it (the penalty kick), I tried to (confuse the goalie) by looking to the left but he didn't bite (and) went the same way, but I put too much power on it for him to get it," Carroll said.
Less than five minutes later MSU took the lead when senior forward Adam Montague sent one through the back of the net to give MSU the 2-1 lead at the 53:14 mark.
Wisconsin nearly tied with a rocket from outside the box by senior forward Jacob Brindle, firing the shot before it eventually ricocheted off of the cross bar at the 65:39 mark.
MSU's strong second half saw the team out-shoot the Badgers 13-5, giving the Spartans a 17-8 lead on the shot total in the game.
The offensive surge in the first 10 minutes of the second half was all the team needed as the Spartans used those two goals and a solid defense to finish out the 2-1 win over conference opponent Wisconsin.
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