Saturday, September 26, 2020

Michigan State women's soccer blanks Oakland to claim fifth win

September 7, 2018
<p>Defender Athena Biondi (13) runs with Oakland’s midfielder Ali Amante (7) during the game against Oakland on Sept. 6, 2018 at DeMartin Stadium. The Spartans defeated the Grizzlies, 2-0.</p>

Defender Athena Biondi (13) runs with Oakland’s midfielder Ali Amante (7) during the game against Oakland on Sept. 6, 2018 at DeMartin Stadium. The Spartans defeated the Grizzlies, 2-0.

Photo by Annie Barker | The State News

Women’s soccer (5-0-1) defeated Oakland (0-6) on Thursday night, 2-0, at DeMartin Stadium. MSU goalkeeper Reilley Ott continued her hot start after being named Big Ten Goalkeeper of the Week on Tuesday, by putting up her fifth shutout of the season. 

“I can really owe it to my defense,” Ott said after the game. “There’s a lot of shots that could happen, but they stop them before they get off.” 

The Spartan offense pressed early, getting their first shot on goal courtesy of junior defender Kassidy Madrigal just over a minute into the game. However, MSU would not get one past Oakland goalkeeper Jaimie Leas until just after the 21 minute mark, when a shot by freshman forward Camryn Evans reached the net -- her third goal of the season --  to give the Spartans a 1-0 lead. Sophomore midfielder Bella Jodzis picked up the assist on the play. 

“It makes it a lot easier because the momentum shifted in our direction,” Evans said on her team taking an early lead. “Everyone settled down, so it was easier to connect after that.”

The rest of the first period would remain rather quiet, as the Spartans would head into the half still up by a goal.

MSU came out firing on all cylinders in the second period, applying immediate pressure on the Oakland defense as Evans fired off three shots on goal in the first four minutes. After bouncing a shot off the crossbar, Evans grabbed her own rebound and was able to finish off her shot for her second goal of the game, putting the Spartans up by a pair of goals 49 minutes into the game.

“She also puts herself in a lot of great positions to score,” said Spartan’s head coach Tom Saxton. “She left a couple out there, but scored a couple nice ones and I think as she gets more experience she be able to put up more numbers.”

MSU would go on to win 2-0 to collect its fifth win of the season. The Spartans are off to their best start since the 2014 season, and have made a noticeable improvement over last season.

“Last season was rough,” Ott said. “We’re coming back hard this season and we’re showing anyone that doubts us what’s going on.”

The Spartans will now turn their attention to Colorado (5-0-1) on Sunday afternoon, before heading out on a two game road trip. Kickoff is scheduled for noon at DeMartin Stadium.

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