On the back of a hat trick by graduate student forward Camryn Evans, the women’s soccer team upset the #19 ranked Colorado Buffaloes 4-2.
The weather was less than ideal at DeMartin as the gameplay was paused momentarily in the first five minutes and had periods of a downpour after the pause, but the conditions helped MSU’s attack according to Evans.
“The conditions definitely made it a little bit easier to gamble and make those plays.”
Her first goal came at a crucial time, as Colorado was up a score and MSU’s team morale was down.
“It was definitely like a ‘we can do this’ moment',” Evans said. “We went down today and everyone was like ‘oh shoot we’re down,’ but then we swung back around and made our plays.”
After her first goal, she came back with another after a give-and-go in the 48th minute with freshman midfielder Courtney Koehler.
The next goal for MSU came off the boot of junior forward/defender MJ Andrus with 17 minutes left and Evan’s penalty shot, which was also her hat trick goal, put the game out of reach.
Coming in, the Spartan defense knew they had a tough task ahead of them, but they stepped up to the challenge.
“We really locked them down,” redshirt senior goalkeeper Lauren Kozal said. "We prepared really well, we knew what they were trying to look to do and we worked together to cut that out as best we could and we were really successful in doing that.”
Even though they did their job, the All-American goalkeeper was not exactly thrilled with her performance.
“Unfortunately the two goals are not my favorite and not the best but we'll learn from it and grow from there," Kozal said.
After a rather poor performance last time out against Oakland, Head Coach Jeff Hosler was pleased with how his team turned it around Sunday afternoon.
“We executed better. You know, we generated more chances and we finished in front of goal more often,” Hosler said. "It was also a totally different setup. Oakland sat in such a deep low block and it's hard to get around and get to the goal. This game was more wide open but it showcased what we can do especially when we have a little bit of space. And we do have a lot of quality in front of goal and we demonstrated that today.”
This big win could not have come at a better time in the season with conference play right around the corner, and Hosler sees this win as a step in the right direction.
“It's massive because as a staff and team we talk about what we can do, we just have to keep raising that floor until we can touch our ceiling as a team,” Hosler said.
“We've had moments where we take two big steps forward and we take a step back – and I think we took two really big steps forward and I think all the conversations we've had this week is going to keep us moving forward into Big 10 play which is arguably the best in the country.”
With the win, the Spartans officially move to 5-1-2 on the season. They have a week until they travel to Illinois to face the also 5-2-1 Fighting Illini next Sunday at two p.m.
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