It was the most eventful, yet simultaneously uneventful, soccer game a fan could imagine. Eighty-five minutes of regulation play went scoreless.
FINAL: Penn State 1, MSU 0, shocking last minute goal sends Spartans home frustrated
The Michigan State men's soccer team watched heartbroken as the score solidified itself at 1-0. This was their third in-conference game and second, small-margined in-conference loss.
"Tough loss," Michigan State Head Coach Damon Rensing said postgame. "Obviously, there are certain plays that can change the game and the red card [on sophomore midfielder Jack Zugay] changed the game."
In the beginning of the second half, Zugay and Penn State sophomore midfielder/forward Peter Mangione collided in center field, sparking outrage. As the pair laid on the ground, Mangione clutching his ankle in pain, MSU and PSU went at it.
Penn State junior goalkeeper Kris Shakes sprinted across the field to hold one of his teammates back as referees, players, coaches and athletic trainers alike crowded the area with concern and anger.
Zugay was immediately removed from the remainder of the game, sending MSU down a man. Mangione limped off the field, though his injury appeared not to be too serious, as he was back to business within a matter of minutes to finish out the game.
"Unfortunately, (even with the good turnout) the red card changed the crowd and the atmosphere," Rensing said. "We couldn't get them going, get them excited."
Morse collected a season-high of nine monster saves last night, at one point getting three or four back-to-back off Penn State corner kicks. Even with everyone crowded around the box, Morse remained composed and precise.
Rensing had nothing but praise for Morse postgame, saying he'd played out of his mind and absolutely unbelievable.
"Look, these last two games, to get nothing out of them is odd," Rensing said. "Soccer tests you and we're getting tested right now as a team. It's life lessons, things don't always go the way you map out. We've just gotta stick together and get ready. There's no time to cry or feel sorry for ourselves, we've got a huge game with Michigan on Tuesday."
The Spartans (4-5-1, 0-2-1) will start another three-game road tour by heading to in-state rival Michigan next Tuesday to battle for the Big Bear Trophy. Kickoff is slated for 8 p.m. on the Big Ten Network.
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