EAST LANSING, Mich. – Behind a five-point performance from senior forward Ryan Sierakowski, the No. 5 Michigan State men’s soccer team closed out its four-game homestand with a dominating 5-1 win over UC Riverside Monday at hot and humid DeMartin Stadium.

Starting the season with four games at home, Michigan State now holds a to 3-0-1 record this season, while UC Riverside falls to 0-4.

“When you move the ball and you share the ball, lots of people will score and even if you’re one of those forwards like DeJuan (Jones) or Ryan (Sierakowski). You’re going to get chances and that leads to chances for (John) Freitag, Robbie Cort, Hunter (Barone), other players. It was great to see some the guys get some credit for really a good team performance,” MSU head coach Damon Rensing said.

How It Happened…
After a few early chances, the Spartans broke through in the 21st minute. Senior forward Hunter Barone dished the ball to standout redshirt-freshman defender Nick Woodruff. The rookie’s long pass landed at the foot of Sierakowski, who scored his first goal of the season. The half ended with MSU still leading 1-0.

Early in the second half, Sierakowski had another stellar chance off of passes from sophomore midfielder Michael Miller and senior defender Connor Corrigan. Sierakowski’s shot sailed wide as the scored remained 1-0.

From that point, the Spartan offense would not be denied. In the 58th minute, Hunter Barone scored his second goal of the season, knocking in ball from four yards out. Miller and Sierakowski earned assists on the play, as MSU jumped out to 2-0 lead.

Senior forward Robbie Cort scored his first  goal of the season in the 66th minute  to put the game out of reach. Less than two minutes later, MSU upped its advantage to 4-0 with senior midfielder John Freitag’s first goal of the year and second of his Spartan career.

“Against Canisius, we played very well for 75-80 minutes and then we gave up those two goals and that was very disappointing. Our main focus for this game was that we wanted to play a full 90 well, strong, not giving up anything and other than the goal we just gave at the end, and I thought we did that. I thought we controlled the game for 90 minutes. There were ebbs and flows, and we had to defend but that’s the nature of the game. I thought we defended well and that showed,” Sierakowski said.

Freshman midfielder netted his first collegiate goal in the 81st minute. Beck deposited a laser to the lower left corner off of passes from junior midfielder Giuseppe Barone and Miller, who had two assists on the day.

The Highlanders got on the board in the 87th minute when Daniel Aguirre slipped the ball past senior goalkeeper Zach Kovan, who replaced senior Jimmy Hague in the 81st minute.

What’s Next?
Michigan State now hits the road for its road opener against Bowling Green on Friday, Sept. 7 at 7 p.m. The Spartans then return home to the friendly confines of DeMartin Stadium to face in-state rival Oakland on Monday, Sept. 10 at 7 p.m.

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