Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Michigan State women's soccer's season ends as they fall to Iowa in Big Ten Tournament

October 31, 2021
<p>The Michigan State University women’s soccer team runs to greet fans after their victory. Shot on Oct. 10, 2021.</p>

The Michigan State University women’s soccer team runs to greet fans after their victory. Shot on Oct. 10, 2021.

Photo by Tyler Smith | The State News

Just like that, Michigan State's season has come to a close.

The women's soccer team wrapped up the jam-packed weekend here in East Lansing with their quarterfinal game in the Big Ten Tournament. The energy was incredible as fans were still fired up from yesterday's win against the University of Michigan football.

MSU (10-4-3) went up against Iowa (11-5-2) here at DeMartin Stadium. The final game score read 1-0 with Iowa taking home the victory.

"It has been a heck of a year for our group. For a team that was picked to be 13th in the Big Ten and did everything we did to finish fourth and host a tournament game," Head Coach Jeff Hosler said. "Soccer can be cruel, you make one mistake at a moment that your opponent can be opportunistic and that's the end result for us today."

Regardless of the score, MSU women's soccer still has a lot to be proud of. The last time that the Spartans appeared in the tournament was 2011, and the last time it was hosted at MSU was in 2002.

Not only is this the current team's first time in the playoffs, but it is a first for Hosler as well.

"This season has been awesome," Hosler said. "As we reflect back on it there's a lot to be proud of. A lot of achievements a lot of accomplishments, but most importantly I think we've set a new standard for our women's soccer program. I'm really excited to see where it's gonna go."

The score remained 0-0 until about halfway through the second half when Iowa forward Alyssa Walker put a goal on the scoreboard. Following her goal, the Spartans became much more aggressive on defense. Unfortunately, this was not enough to win back the game.

"It was a tough game, but sometimes the best team doesn't always win. Iowa was harder in their individual moments, and luckily finished their one chance that they had and were stronger for it," junior goalkeeper Lauren Kozal said. "I'm super proud of this group for everything that we've accomplished. It's hard to realize it right now, but we really made big jumps this season."

Despite today's tough loss this team made major strides this season and reached a few milestones.

The women's soccer program did not bring in Hosler, who then led the team to the Big Ten Quarterfinals for the first time in 10 years, but they also had Kozal awarded with the Big Ten Goalkeeper of the Year award.

"Lauren is consistent and solid once again. ... There's no way we would be anywhere where we are without Lauren Kozal and the season she put together," Hosler said.

Despite the loss, the seniors can hang their jerseys in their locker knowing they left everything on the field.

"I couldn't be more proud of the seniors and the way they bought into what we were doing. To have the season we had is beyond their wildest dreams and the belief they had as it went on allowed this to be a remarkable season," Hosler said.

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