Sunday, December 4, 2022

'You've gotta make a couple plays and they made one early on': Western shuts down MSU 1-0 at home

September 2, 2022
<p>Sophomore forward Zack Babiak (11) slides on the field. MSU fell to Western Michigan 1-0 on Sept. 1, 2022.</p>

Sophomore forward Zack Babiak (11) slides on the field. MSU fell to Western Michigan 1-0 on Sept. 1, 2022.

Photo by Sheldon Krause | The State News

MSU men’s soccer is back for the 2022 season, and DeMartin Field was jam packed on Thursday night for a doubleheader with the women’s soccer team defeating Dartmouth shortly before the men hosted Western Michigan.

The Broncos scored a goal early on in the first half. MSU fought back but was unable to secure the win. 

“We’re extremely disappointed," senior goalkeeper Owen Finnerty said. "We worked all week to prepare for the game and were disappointed that we couldn’t put one away. They capitalized on one chance and we couldn't get it back the rest of the game."

It was difficult for the Spartans to properly gear up for Thursday's game due to an intense schedule followed by Monday's 3-2 loss to Notre Dame.

“Our players did everything we asked of them and I give them a lot of credit," MSU Head Coach Damon Rensing said. "This is the second year in a row that Western’s took a complete week off to prepare for us, and we only had two days to prepare for them. This was our third game in seven days."

Western Michigan's senior forward Dylan Sing scored the match's lone goal in the 13th minute.

“I think we had chances to tie the game up and the momentum after the first twenty minutes was all us. We did some good stuff and limited their chances. At the end of the day, you’ve gotta make a couple plays and they made one early on that we, unfortunately, couldn’t get back."

There are quite a few new faces on the team this year. They’ve got big shoes to fill after MSU star Farai Mutatu was drafted by the LA Galaxy in the most recent MLS draft.

“We’ve got a lot of new faces that really step up," Rensing said. "They’re not afraid of the moment and they’ve got a lot of areas they can improve upon. I like the young group.”

The matchups early on in the season are critical in preparing the team for those that follow and gearing up for Big Ten games. 

“It’s all about the mindset that no matter who we’re playing, we’re still the same team," Finnerty said. "That comes with experience too and a lot of the younger guys on this team need to keep learning that and everyone has to have the mindset that every team and game is a hard one. We just gotta keep playing."

Despite the loss, it was an eventful evening for the Spartan community filled with food trucks and fun for the entire family.

“I want to thank the well over 3,000 fans that came to this game and this entire day," Rensing said. "It was amazing. We got awesome rowdies and the environment’s electric. Unfortunately, we couldn’t quite get the result we wanted."

Michigan State will travel to Akron to take on the Zips Monday night.

“We need to fine tune everything," Rensing said. "Akron’s really good, and it will be a completely different game.” “We need to keep working on our speed of play, final third and keep on forging ahead."

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