ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – In a game mostly controlled by New Mexico, the Spartans were able to steal a 1-0 victory over the Lobos underneath the New Mexico sun.
Offensively, the Lobos controlled most of the game outshooting the Spartans, 18-6, earning eight corner kicks and hitting the crossbar twice.
Two Spartan goal keepers combined in Michigan State’s 1-0 shutout as redshirt junior Courtney Clem had two saves in 26 minutes of play and redshirt sophomore Gabrielle Gauruder made five saves in nearly 64 minutes of action.
In her first game of the season, Gauruder replaced starter Courtney Clem when she collided with New Mexico forward Ruth Bruciaga on a loose ball in the box. Clem was reportedly visibly woozy after the collision, and blood from her mouth was seen spattered on her uniform.
The 0-0 deadlock was not broken until the 82nd minute when Spartan junior Nicole Caruso scored her first goal of the season.
Caruso found space and directed a shot from about 30-yards out towards goal. A stunned Lobo goal keeper Cassie Ulrich watched as the ball deflected off the leg of New Mexico defender Liz Nare and into the open net.
The fluky goal allowed MSU to escape a game with a victory that New Mexico pretty much controlled throughout the match.
“I thought we played really, really well at times and did the right things.” said New Mexico head coach Kit Vela to golobos.com.
“I mean there’s nothing you can do about it. You make your luck and today we just couldn’t make our luck. I think it’s a little bit of a character check for our girls,” Vela added.
Sunday’s victory brings the Spartan’s record to 4-0-2 on the season.
Michigan State looks to remain undefeated on Friday, Sept. 13 at 5 p.m. against Bowling Green at DeMartin Stadium.
Jonathan Yales is the host of Corner Kick for Impact Sports.
Photo: Jonathan Yales