On Sunday evening, Michigan (10-4-4) put an end to the Spartan men’s (3-12-3) soccer season in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament. The Spartans were able to strike first with a goal of the foot of freshman forward Gianni Ferri but couldn’t answer a pair of Wolverine goals, falling 2-1.
Michigan State was responsible for the only offense through the first 45 minutes.
The Spartans held a lead for the entire first half, as Ferri was able to find the back of the net on an assist from sophomore defenseman Olu Ogunwale just 20 minutes into the game.
However, the early score would be the last point of Michigan State’s season.
Neither team managed many shots, but in the second half it was Michigan who would make the most of their chances. With just six shots in the half, the Wolverines would find the net on two.
Michigan’s first goal of the second half would come much like the Spartans’ in the first half — early.
Just under the sixtieth minute, sophomore forward Derick Broche would tie the game for the Wolverines at 1-1.
Ten minutes later, Michigan would score their second goal.
Senior forward Jack Hallahan was the player who rose to the occasion. On a free kick, Hallahan would find the back left of the net and deliver what would be the dagger to the Spartans’ season.
Through the last 20 minutes, the Wolverines would hold off the three-win Spartan team and prevent an overtime that the Spartans saw much of this year.
With the 2-1 victory, Michigan eliminated the Spartans from the Big Ten Tournament and put the cap on a rough season overall. Michigan State would finish with a 3-12-3 record on the year.
After the first round loss, Michigan State will not be in question as a bubble team for the College Cup, where they made it to the Final Four last season.
In a season that was plagued by injuries, the Spartans were able to get a lot of younger players a lot of minutes. If there is any silver lining to be taken, the Spartans were a young team this year and the experience they got could help turn the program back in the right direction.