The Michigan State men's soccer team's season has likely come to a close after the No. 8-seeded Spartans were taken down by top-seeded Penn State 2-0 in the Big Ten Tournament quarterfinals.
Yesterday afternoon was no different for the Spartans. A stunner of a goal scored in the opening 30 seconds by Penn State sophomore midfielder/forward Peter Mangione threw off the green and white's mojo and, even after 12 shot attempts, five on goal, the Spartans were not able to find an equalizer in the full 90 minutes.
Penn State junior midfielder Andrew Privett scored a second goal for the blue and white at the 17-minute mark, all but carving the Spartan's eventual 2-0 loss in stone.
The Spartans were carried by senior forward Farai Mutatu, senior midfielder Luke Morell and graduate student midfielder Michael Miller, who combined for eight of the 12 shots and all five shots on goal.
Redshirt senior goalkeeper Hunter Morse was back between the pipes in the starting 11 for the Spartans, the first time since their match against Western Michigan on Oct. 13. He collected one save of the seven shots he faced.
Penn State will advance to the semifinals on Wednesday, Nov. 10, and host No. 4-seeded Michigan, who won their quarterfinals match against Wisconsin 2-1.
NCAA Tournament rankings are set to be announced Monday, Nov. 15, after all selective conference tournaments have concluded. The selection process only makes room for a field of 48 teams, with 23 automatic qualifications, each hand-picked by the NCAA Division I Men's Soccer Committee. 16 of the 48 teams will receive a first-round bye and automatically advance to the second round.
The first round, consisting of 16 two-team games, will take place on Thursday, Nov. 18, on unpredetermined campus sites.
Right now, Michigan State's RPI stands at 50. Even though the program had a strength of schedule in the nation's top 10 (No. 8), this may not be enough to get them an at-large bid. Especially with an overall record of 6-9-2. RPI Blogspot does not have a prediction listed for them.
Head coach Damon Rensing and players were not available for comment postgame.
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