EAST LANSING, Mich. – No. 5 Michigan State men’s soccer lost its first game of the season in heartbreaking fashion, 1-0, in overtime against Wisconsin on a cool and rainy day at DeMartin Stadium on Sunday.
The day began with a celebration as the Spartans unveiled plaques honoring the 1967 and 1967 National Championship teams led by MSU Hall of Famer and former head coach Joe Baum. Sunday was also alumni day as Spartans from six different decades were honored at halftime.
After suffering its first loss of the season, the Spartans fall to 8-1-2 overall and 2-1 in league action. Wisconsin improves to 5-4-1 overall and 2-1 in the Big Ten.
How it happened:
The game-winning goal for the Badgers came in the 98th minute when Alex Alfaro scored his first goal of the season. Alfaro battled in the box, taking the deflection off a Spartan defender and sliding the ball past MSU senior goalkeeper Jimmy Hague. The goal was only the seventh allowed this season by Hague.
“Wisconsin’s an organized team and if you want to break those teams down, you’ve got to be sharp, and we just weren’t. We really didn’t test their goalie the way we normally do. We got into some deep spots, but didn’t really have any teeth to our offense,” MSU head coach Damon Rensing said.
Michigan State was the aggressor for much of the first half. Senior forward Ryan Sierakowski started the action with a solid shot with a lot of velocity, which was saved by Dean Cowdroy who was solid all day. Fellow senior forward DeJuan Jones also had a quality chance in the 36th minute, but was also unable to find the back of the net.
The Spartans ended the first half, out-shooting the Badgers, 5-1. Despite the shot differential, MSU and Wisconsin were scoreless through the first 45 minutes.
In the second half, play evened out with both teams applying pressure. Despite four shots in the second half, Michigan State couldn’t find the back of the net. The Big Ten battled was destined for extra time. MSU played its third overtime game of the season and are now 0-1-2 in extra time this season.
The Spartans were short-handed much of the game due to injury, but battled through, using only four substitutions in the game. Six MSU players played all 97 minutes.
The Spartans will have a breather, traveling to College Park to take on Maryland on Friday, Oct. 5 at 7 p.m. This will be Michigan State’s second-straight game on the Big Ten Network.
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