Sunday, February 25, 2024

FINAL: Michigan State suffers 2-1 loss to Northwestern in final game of 2022 regular season

October 30, 2022
Redshirt senior defender Will Perkins (22) tries to get the ball off of Northwestern’s sophomore midfielder Collin McCamy (4) during a game at DeMartin Stadium on Oct. 30, 2022. The Spartans lost to the Wildcats with a score of 2-1.
Redshirt senior defender Will Perkins (22) tries to get the ball off of Northwestern’s sophomore midfielder Collin McCamy (4) during a game at DeMartin Stadium on Oct. 30, 2022. The Spartans lost to the Wildcats with a score of 2-1. —
Photo by Audrey Richardson | The State News

The Spartans fell 2-1 Sunday afternoon to the Northwestern Wildcats for senior day and their final game of the 2022 regular season. 

First half:

The game started to heat up just under 10 minutes into the first half when freshman forward Jonathan Stout headed the ball into the top right corner of the net off MSU’s second corner kick of the game. Stout was assisted by graduate student midfielder Louis Sala.

It was Stout’s fourth goal and Sala’s seventh assist of the season. Head Coach Damon Rensing said Stout is definitely a candidate for Big Ten Freshman of the Year.

“Right place at the right time," Stout said. "It was off a corner, went back out and ball gets whipped in. Just jump up and do my best and it ends up going in."

MSU held onto its lead over the Wildcards for over three minutes until Northwesterns' Logan Weaver sent the ball to the bottom center of the net. Finnerty kicked it out of the box to Wildcat Jayvin Van Deventer, who finished off what Weaver started.

The score sat at 1-1 for the rest of the first half. Besides a few yellow cards for both teams and corner kicks for MSU, it was a slow finish leading up to halftime. 

Second half:

MSU returned hungry to add another goal to the scoreboard. Stout looked to take the lead early on and earn his second goal of the game with a shot to the bottom center of the net that was saved by NU graduate student goalkeeper Christian Garner.

The rest of the game was quiet until Northwestern graduate student defender Ethan Dudley was fouled by senior defender Nick Stone in the box and awarded a penalty kick. The goal was good and the Wildcats grasped the lead over the Spartans, 2-1, with 10 minutes left on the clock.

Following the Wildcat goal, graduate student midfielder Jack Beck attempted to tie it back up, sending a shot to the bottom center of the net. However, Garner saved the shot with six minutes left in the game.

The Spartans continued to fight back, eager to rewrite the final score but failed to shut down the Wildcats.

"I think it was a difficult result for us." Rensing said. "We had a dream start, great goal, played really well in the first 20 minutes. ... They were playing desperate because they needed to win the game to stay in the Big Ten tournament. ... Obviously tough call there when the game was tied with about 12 minutes left or so."

Despite a disappointing result, the game was followed by a senior day celebration. MSU’s seven seniors Finnerty, Sala, senior forward Gianni Ferri, senior defender Nick Stone, senior forward Conner George and redshirt juniors midfielder Kellan Landefeld and forward Alaa Algahim were honored as their parents and siblings walked them onto the field to be photographed in front of a frame with a photo of the senior and their jersey number.

"I'm very proud of the seniors," Rensing said. "We've had a great group here that really had to go through a lot when you talk about COVID and different changes with everything that's going on. For them to do what they've done, been great role models for this athletic department, this university and this soccer program."

Rensing said the 2022 seniors have been a vital component in turning the program back in the right direction. He looks to the rest of the team to finish what they started in tournament play, specifically the freshmen standouts who have stepped up this season.

The No. 6 Spartans will head to Columbus on Friday, Nov. 4. to face No. 3 Ohio State to begin Big Ten Tournament play.

"I know the seniors are pissed, I'm pissed, everybody's pissed," Stout said. "Damon will let us know what we need to work on and whatever he says we'll go all out, get better at it, figure it out and be ready to play."

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