On a sunny Friday at DeMartin Stadium, the No. 5 Michigan State men’s soccer team (2-0-1) fended off a late push by Canisius (1-2) to win their second game of the season by a score of 3-2. For the Spartans, they remain undefeated on the young season through three games.
“This week in practice, we did a lot of two-touch, three-touch combinations,” said senior forward DeJuan Jones. “So, you really apply that to today and we got some good goals.”
In what has been a slow start offensively for MSU in its first two games, the Spartan offense was able to put pressure on the Canisius defense early on, Jones was able to put one past Canisius goalkeeper Bryce Tramuta after a shot on goal by junior midfielder Giuseppe Barone was deflected off the post, giving the Spartans a lead just after the six-minute mark. For Jones, it was his first goal of the year. Both senior forward Ryan Sierakowski and Barone picked up assists on the goal.
“It definitely helps to get the early goal,” said Jones. “[We] got the crowd energized, we’re feeling more confident.”
There would be no score for nearly 34 minutes until Nick Woodruff ended the drought, as the freshman defender sank his first career goal past Tramuta, giving MSU a 2-0 lead going into the half.
The Spartans came out running in the second period, putting up their third goal of the game just eight minutes into the second period thanks to senior forward Hunter Barone, who was set up by his younger brother Giuseppe and senior defender John Freitag for his first goal of the season, putting MSU up by three.
The Spartans would let up their first goal of the season as a shot off the foot of Canisius forward Filippo Tamburini reached the back of the Spartan net. Canisius forward Josef Preci would tack on one more less than four minutes later, trimming MSU's lead to one with just over 10 minutes on the clock.
However, the Spartan defense would go on to hold Canisius in their tracks, claiming their second victory of the season by a score of 3-2.
“If we want to stay ranked in the top ten I think we’re going to have to have those spells for 90 minutes, and have a little better mentality,” said head coach Damon Rensing. “But you go up 3-0, we’re happy with that.”
The Spartans will have one more home game against UC Riverside on Labor Day before they take off for Bowling Green. Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. at DeMartin Stadium.
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