EAST LANSING, Mich. – On a cold and sunny day at DeMartin Stadium, the Lady Spartans fought valiantly, but fell to the Lady Hoosiers 3-2 in overtime.
It was a tough loss for the Spartans, as Indiana possessed the ball for the majority of the game in the Spartans’ half of the field.
“I don’t think they (MSU defense) lacked,” junior forward Paige Wester said. “I just think the pressure from the forwards back to the midfields to the defenses all as a unit, we were not altogether, so it was everyone’s part.”
Lisa Nouanesengsy put the Hoosiers on the board first in the 35th minute on a left-footed shot, that she drilled into the far side of the MSU goal.
The Spartans responded ten seconds later with a nice build-up of passes off the kick-off, which ended up giving Wester an opportunity to find redshirt sophomore Rachel Van Poppelen for the goal in the 35th minute.
Three minutes into the second half, Indiana’s Kayleigh Steigerwalt put the Hoosiers ahead 2-1 off a ball that was crossed into the box.
“After they scored that second goal we were all upset and wanted to get another goal, so we tried to put a lot of pressure on them and try to go out and get that second goal,” Wester said.
34 minutes later, the Lady Spartans answered when sophomore forward Allyson Krause struck the ball across her body and into the far side of the Indiana goal.
“We just told (Allyson) one play and we kept telling everybody one play and we could turn this game around,” head coach Tom Saxton said.
At the beginning of the first overtime, MSU looked to have the momentum as they kept the pressure in Indiana’s half and earned two great chances off corner kicks in the first few minutes.
Unfortunately, MSU could not maintain the pressure and the Hoosiers returned to dominating the possession game. And in the 98th minute, Veronica Ellis found the back of the net for Indiana as she had an easy shot from the top of the six-yard box.
“You saw a lot of fight, heart and character from our team today. Unfortunately we just didn’t have the legs,” Saxton said.
The Lady Spartans (8-6-2) play at Northwestern on Friday and then at Illinois on Sunday, before they return home for their final regular season game against No. 16 Penn State on November 1st.
Brooks Laimbeer is a multimedia journalist for Corner Kick.
Photo: David Defever