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MSU women's soccer suffers first loss of the season against Wisconsin, 1-0.

September 24, 2021
<p>University of Wisconsin women&#x27;s soccer team celebrates after scoring a goal on Sept. 23, 2021.</p>

University of Wisconsin women's soccer team celebrates after scoring a goal on Sept. 23, 2021.

Photo by Rahmya Trewern | The State News

Michigan State women's soccer suffered their first loss of the season as Wisconsin downed the Spartans, 1-0.

The match was a mud-fight on Thursday night after East Lansing had been pounded with rain over the last several days and with DeMartin Field being famous for its frequent flooding issues.

The mud and rain slowed down both sides until Wisconsin junior forward Claire Odmark put up a goal for the Badgers 35 minutes into the match and the Badgers never had to look back.

"I thought we executed the game really well start to finish, even though we changed things in the second half," Michigan State Head Coach Jeff Hosler said. "They continue to impress me with their ability to adapt and open to new ideas and be committed to them. I'm certainly not pleased with the result. I think we grew through today and we will be more prepared for Sunday."

The halftime score read 1-0 with the Badgers in the lead. Down by a goal, the Spartans pressed up higher to increase their attack and look for a tying goal.

"We had to play and press a little bit higher than we did the first half," Hosler said. "I like the way we found some moments for our two strikers. When we got forward, we had to commit more numbers, particularly in the backside. That is the one thing that we didn't execute very well in the second half."

Fifth-year forward Ava Cook came ready for a comeback in the second half.

"I was trying to go over our tactics for the game," Cook said. "Especially in a high intensity game like that, it's important to keep everyone high intensity, but calm at the same time. A lot of teams can capitalize when teams are frazzled, so it's a big part of our game is to remain calm and play our game.".

Junior forward Lauren DeBeau and graduate student midfielder Bella Jodzis played a tough second half. DeBeau put up a few shots throughout.

"I thought she was great in the second half, her and Bella both," Hosler said. "I think a lot of the ground coverage Bella provided allowed DeBeau to get into those spots a little bit earlier."

Those goals never came for the Spartans though and the Badgers continued to keep redshirt junior goalkeeper and recently named Big Ten Goalie of the week Lauren Kozal on her toes all night.

Kozal put up a tough fight and kept her head high after letting in the shot. She made numerous saves throughout the second half and continued to protect the net.

“Obviously not the result we wanted today, we should have earned a different result," Kozal said. "We are gonna keep working and get after it for Sunday."

Despite the loss, this team continues to fight for their coach and progress is clearly being made.

"I think you got a humble group," Hosler said. "I think with where they've been and where they are, I think it's incredibly motivating for them. You saw kids today walking off the pitch disappointed, some in tears because they want to give their all and I think they did. They gave everything they had mentally, physically, emotionally and came up short and I think that shows the competitiveness and fire this group has."

The Spartans will be up against the Minnesota Golden Gophers this Sunday, Sept. 26, at noon, looking to bounce back from their first loss.

"We gotta get a win," Cook said. "Whatever I can do to help my team win, that's exactly what I am gonna do the whole time."

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