FINAL: Michigan State comes up short in B1G championship game


Jack Moreland

MSU celebrates after the game against Minnesota Oct. 30, 2022/ Photo credit: Jack Moreland

Luca Melloni, Sports Editorial Assistant

COLUMBUS — The No. 6 Michigan State women’s soccer team suffered a defeat against No. 21 Penn State, who left Columbus with the Big Ten tournament trophy on Sunday. Penn State forward Ally Schlegel sealed the victory with an 81st-minute goal to win 3-2. 

“I think the experience of this past week playing three knockout games certainly helps,” head coach Jeff Hosler said. “Penn State is a team that has a lot of pedigree and has been in postseason play year in and year out.”

It started with an unexpected Penn State own goal in the opening five minutes of the match that gave MSU an early 1-0 lead. 

Nearly 10 minutes after the own goal, MSU defender Raegan Cox gave up a penalty kick after fouling a PSU attacker inside the box. PSU forward Penelope Hocking missed the penalty after her shot slammed the post of Lauren Kozal’s goal.

Starting the second half, Michigan State struggled to connect passes. Many passes were either broken up by the resilient PSU defense or simply tossed away. 

In the 53rd minute, Penn State’s goalscoring talisman Ally Schlegel grabbed a goal to make it 2-1. In a tight area at the top of the box, Schlegel took two touches to set herself up for a well-placed shot that went past Kozal. 

The assist to Schlegel’s goal was credited to senior Payton Linnehan. 

After Penn State’s goal, the Spartans were desperate to find the equalizer. 

In came Lauren DeBeau. 

DeBeau took the ball herself at the top of the box and her long-range shot found the back of the net, making it 2-2 in the 75th minute. 

“She [DeBeau] has a flair for making big plays in big moments,” Hosler said. “I’ll take 30 Lauren DeBeau’s. The intensity she plays with and the competitor she is…When things are hard she seeks the ball and wants to try to perform in those big moments.” 

The heartbreaker for Michigan State came in the 81st minute when Schlegel scored her second of the night and sealed the victory for Penn State. 

Schlegel had a running start toward the goal and it was difficult for the MSU defenders to catch her in the air as she headed the ball past Kozal.

After the final whistle, Penn State players rushed to the field to celebrate as Big Ten tournament champions for the first time since 2019. 

“This isn’t season-ending or the end of the line,” Hosler said. “It’s us coming back and resting and recovering when we come back together on Tuesday.”

The national tournament seeding is tomorrow at 3 p.m. where the Spartans will be watching at Munn Ice Arena.