EAST LANSING, Mich. – Another two-goal performance from senior forward DeJuan Jones led No. 3 Michigan State men’s soccer past in-state rival Oakland, 4-2, at DeMartin Stadium on Tuesday.
With the win, the Spartans remain unbeaten with a 5-0-1 record, while Oakland falls to 3-2-1 this year. The MSU offense has been on fire of late with 15 goals in its last four games.
“Well I could find something to complain about, we gave up two goals, but no it was an entertaining game for those in the crowd that came out and a lot of local kids that helped us on our side. There were some from Oakland too. Napoleon Outlaw III from Okemos High played, so that was pretty cool. But I was really happy with the performance,” MSU head coach Damon Rensing said. “We gave up a couple set piece goals, but DeJuan was special tonight. You know Giuseppe (Barone) played well, really when you’re 2-2 you have to give Oakland some credit. We went up 1-0 and then 2-1 and they kind of came back, but we didn’t get rattled and kind of kept playing.”
How it happened:
The strong performance from Jones started early with a penalty kick in the fourth minute. The Spartans converted their first penalty kick of the season after Jones was brought down in the box by a Grizzly defender, and he took the PK and buried the ball in the back of the net.
Oakland was able to even the score at 1-1 in the 10th minute. Jacob Moore scored his second goal of the season on a play that was started off a corner kick by Evan Sawula. Barry Alfa recovered the ball and Moore finished to even the score.
Before the half ended, Jones added his second goal of the night in the 32nd minute. The senior delivered from six yards out off nifty passes from junior midfielder Giuseppe Barone and sophomore midfielder Michael Miller to put the Spartans up 2-1 at halftime.
“We are gaining a lot of confidence as a team. We’ve got a lot of seniors, a lot of leaders on this team so we’re really putting it together this year. It’s our final go for the seniors so it’s all for the season, we’ve got to give it our best,” Jones said.
The Grizzlies battled back to even the score at 2-2 in the 73rd minute before the Spartans took control for good. Nebojsa Popovic scored his third goal of the season after a quirky bounce off a deflection.
Giuseppe Barone scored the game-winner in the 77th minute. Senior forward Ryan Sierakowski started the run before passing to freshman forward Farai Mutatu. Giuseppe Barone took it from there with a spinning move before blasting shot from inside eight yards.
The Spartans delivered the final blow in the 85th minute when Sierakowski blast a close-range goal from Jones and Giuseppe Barone passes through the Oakland defense.
Michigan State now hits the road for a pair of road game, traveling to Yale on Friday, Sept. 14. MSU will then travel to No. 12 Notre Dame on Monday, Sept. 17.
Want the latest breaking MSU news delivered straight to your email for FREE? Sign up for the DAILY Spartan Nation newsletter WHEN YOU CLICK RIGHT HERE! Don’t miss any of the latest up to the second updates on Michigan State Sports when you follow on Twitter @HondoCarpenter