In their regular season finale, the No. 7 MSU men’s soccer drew with No. 2 Indiana Saturday at DeMartin Stadium 1-1, finishing second in Big Ten on Senior Day. MSU finishes the season at 11-2-3 and 5-0-3 in conference play.
“It’s been a great group. You love every senior group, and I give these guys a lot of credit,” said Rensing. “They came in, they were young when we had the run to the Elite Eight. We had to kind of rebuild some things and go through some ups and downs and these guys stayed true.”
The Coaches’ Poll has MSU ranked No. 7 as of Oct. 22, but on Sunday, the NCAA Selection Committee ranked them No. 5 among the top 10 Division I teams with new rankings expected to come out on Tuesday.
The first half started with Indiana dominating possession, spending most of the time in their attacking third. The only real momentum the Spartans got came off of counter attacks and set pieces; defenseman Brad Centala almost scored off of a cross about 10 minutes into the game, but Indiana goalkeeper Trey Muse punched it away in a great save effort.
MSU conceded a penalty kick with 21 minutes remaining in the first half, and Indiana’s Trevor Swartz proceeded to put it in the back of the net to give the Hoosiers a 1-0 lead.
The end of the first half saw more energy for MSU, as it began to dominate the attack and nearly score on multiple occasions but couldn’t capitalize.
Early in the second half, MSU had a big opportunity when defenseman John Freitag played a beautiful ball to substitute Michael Miller in the box; Miller booted the ball just above the crossbar.
The Spartans were gifted a penalty kick with 29 minutes remaining in the second half and managed to equalize the game off of a beautiful hesitation shot from forward Ryan Sierakowski.
While MSU again gained momentum in the back leg of the second half, it couldn’t find the goal.
The first overtime was relatively uneventful, but the second overtime saw a rise in intensity. Five minutes into the second overtime, Griffin Dorsey from Indiana launched a shot that goalkeeper Jimmy Hague was barely able to get to.
Despite heavy pressure from MSU late in the second overtime, it was unable to score, with the final score at 1-1 and both goals from penalty kicks.
“Indiana’s got some good attacking players and I thought we just laid off a little bit and we played a little timid on the ball,” said Rensing on the early game struggles. “Once we started to get comfortable — I think Giuseppe Barone, once he got in, calmed some things down — once we did that and started to break through some lines of pressure, we were really dangerous.”
This is the second straight season MSU has gone undefeated at home, an accomplishment senior defenseman Jimmy Fiscus appreciates.
“You know, we really pride ourselves on defense,” said Fiscus. “Just to show we haven’t lost at DeMartin in these past two years shows what are values are and what we really focus on within our team.”
MSU finished with 11 shots, four of them on goal. Indiana notched 19 shots, six of them on goal.
MSU’s next game will be a Big Ten Tournament matchup at DeMartin Field on Sunday, Nov. 5 against No. 6 Ohio State. Kickoff is to be determined.
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