Monday, June 17, 2024

Newcomer Ryan Kerrigan wins it late for MSU on Ted Lasso Night.

September 7, 2023
<p>Sophomore forward Jake Spadafora #22 is tackled by a University of Dayton player during a game at DeMartin Soccer Complex on Sept. 7, 2023.</p>

Sophomore forward Jake Spadafora #22 is tackled by a University of Dayton player during a game at DeMartin Soccer Complex on Sept. 7, 2023.

The Spartans hosted Non-Conference competitors Dayton, in a hard-fought midfield battle that saw the Spartans breakaway in the final ten minutes to win by a score of 1-0 on what would be a successful Ted Lasso night for Michigan State.

Head Coach Damon Rensing made three changes to the starting 11 electing to give Senior defender Elijah Howe, Junior midfielder Sean Kerrigan, and Senior forward Greyson Mercer the nod, as the trio would step in for Sophomore defender Josh Mason, Sophomore midfielder Jack Guggemos and Freshman forward Richie Ludwig.

The first action of the match would come in the sixth minute as Junior midfielder Sean Kerrigan would win a free kick on the right side of the 18 yard box with some clever footwork. Sophomore defender Jeremy Sharp stood over the set piece before flashing a dangerous ball across the six yard box that was deflected out for the Spartans first corner of the match.

In the ninth minute, Dayton would be forced to go to their bench for the first time replacing the injured Freshman forward Jorge Canga, with Senior forward Oussenyou Cisse.

In the 21st minute, sophomore defender Jeremy Sharp would find himself standing over another set piece on the edge of the 18 yard box electing to have an effort on goal that beat Dayton’s Goalkeeper but flash just wide of the bottom left corner.

“This is a compliment to Jeremy, this was probably his weakest game of the four and I say that and he was still good, he's been very important for us he's very reliable, he's very good going forward and defending and arguably our most consistent player,” Rensing said.

The final action of the first half went Dayton’s way as they got the best sight of goal for either of the sides in the first half. Dayton tidily worked the ball out to the right flank before floating a ball into the back post that was met by a Dayton forward, but they were unable to apply the finishing touch.

To kick off the second half, Dayton burst into the Spartan 18 yard box before calling on sophomore goalkeeper Zac Kelly to produce a double save from both the initial effort, and the rebounded attempt.

In the 58th minute, Dayton was forced to see the match out with only ten men after Senior defender Geni Kanyane received a second yellow card for a late tackle on Michigan State Sophomore midfielder Jack Guggemos.

The Spartans instantly looked to capitalize on their numerical advantage as just a minute later, they went crashing towards the Dayton 18 yard box on a three on two break that saw senior forward Greyson Mercer receive the ball at his feet before slipping in Sophomore forward Kyle Schuneman whose shot forced the Dayton goalkeeper to make a flash save with his foot.

In the 79th minute, it was Sophomore defender Jeremy Sharp again standing over a free kick on the left side of the Dayton 18 yard box, as he looked to shape a shot into the top right corner, but it just skimmed over the bar before grazing the top of the net and flying past for a goal kick.

In the 84th minute, it was the newcomer Junior midfielder Sean Kerrigan, who showed off some fancy feet that saw him taken down in the 18 yard box earning Michigan State a penalty. Which he then stepped up to take, taking a moment to collect himself before coolly slotting the ball into the bottom right corner while sending the keeper the wrong way in the process, opening up his MSU account and giving MSU the lead

“Feels good to get the win first of all, but took a while to open the account but hopefully more to come,” Kerrigan said.

3 minutes later, Dayton would get their chance to get back into the game as a ball in behind would be chased down by a Dayton player, before being met by Sophomore goalkeeper Zac Kelly who came racing off his goal line to make a challenge causing a loose ball he would instinctively pounce on to prevent any second Dayton chance.

With the win tonight, that will make it four matches straight unbeaten for the Spartans. As they prepare to face their first ranked opponent this season in Notre Dame.

 “I’ll try to enjoy this tonight … Notre Dame’s a very good team we know them very well and they know us, and we gotta get a little bit better but Notre Dame will be a great test to prepare use and get us ready for our first big ten game at Rutgers, so we got two really tough games coming up but we have 4-5 days to prepare, and get ready and that's what we will do,” Rensing said.

The Spartans will kick off next Tuesday, Sept. 12  when they head on the road to South Bend, Indiana, where they will kick off against 20th ranked Notre Dame at 8 p.m. EST with streaming available on the ACC Network.

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