Tuesday, June 22, 2021

MSU men's soccer ends regular season with back-to-back wins, beats OSU 1-0

April 5, 2021
Members of Michigan State men's soccer team celebrating after the first goal in the game against Wisconsin on March 31st, 2021 at DeMartin Stadium in East Lansing.
Members of Michigan State men's soccer team celebrating after the first goal in the game against Wisconsin on March 31st, 2021 at DeMartin Stadium in East Lansing. —
Photo by Jillian Felton | The State News

MSU men's soccer celebrated Easter with a win.

The win was their second in a row too, as the Spartans took down Ohio State 1-0 in Columbus on Easter Sunday.

Ohio State beat MSU in East Lansing earlier this year. The Spartans came in prepared, Ohio State being one of only two teams they have faced more than once this season. 

Offensively the game wasn’t pretty. Neither team got many chances as both defenses were pesky and persistent, making tackles and disrupting all passing lanes. 

MSU’s first opportunity came early. In the fifth minute, Greyson Mercer got the ball into the Ohio State box but was unable to get a shot off as the Ohio State defense quickly collapsed around him. 

It took 30 minutes for the first shot of the game to be taken as Ohio State took a shot from a very tough angle to the right of MSU’s goal. The shot hit the crossbar but never posed any real threat as both offenses continued to struggle. 

MSU got their best look of the first half in the 31st minute when Farai Mutatu, who saw an increased role today after recovering from injuries in the last few games, got a clean look in front of the Ohio State goal. Mutatu fired a shot low and center but it was saved by Ohio State’s goalkeeper Noah Lawrence. 

As the first half came to an end, still tied at 0-0, you could tell that this game would be one of patience, and whichever team took advantage of the few scoring opportunities presented would come out victorious. 

The second half showed more of the same pace as the first half. MSU had a golden opportunity as a nice give-and-go play at midfield between Will Perkins and Alex Shterenberg put MSU in great position to score, they once again weren’t even able to get a shot off, despite multiple Spartans gaining control of the ball deep in Ohio State territory. MSU just dribbled too much at times and was too passive when looking for shots. 

In the 68th minute, MSU had another great scoring chance. As Mutatu made a brilliant run at the goal, he was tripped in the box. While the trip seemed obvious and was sure to set up a penalty-kick for MSU, no call was made. In fact, the only call made was a yellow card at the MSU bench for an explosive and angry reaction towards the referee. 

MSU would bounce back and finally score the only goal of the game in the 72nd minute as Perkins passed the ball back to the middle from the right side, just outside Ohio State’s box. On the receiving end of the pass was Jack Beck who sent a laser to the bottom left of the goal from outside the box, scoring his second goal of the season. 

MSU’s defense would handle the rest, securing the 1-0 win. The MSU defense played astounding as Ohio State only got off four shots, none of which were shots on goal. 

MSU is gaining momentum at the right time and after this win they have secured a spot in the Big Ten Tournament, officially avoiding the ninth-place spot in the conference. All season the Spartans have played in close games, saying that they are better than their record. Now they are practicing what they’ve been preaching and look to be a potentially dangerous force in the Big Ten Tournament as the difference in the level of play between the top teams and the bottom teams continue to shrink. 

The Spartans await their official seeding for the Big Ten tournament, which begins on April 10.

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