Jordyn Wickes leads Spartans to semifinal


Jack Moreland

Celia Gaynor with a shot against Minnesota Oct. 30, 2022/ Photo credit: Jack Moreland

Jay DeCoster, Soccer Beat Reporter

EAST LANSING – The Michigan State women’s soccer team advanced to the Big Ten Tournament semifinal after a 2-1 victory over the Minnesota Golden Gophers on Sunday. Sophomore forward Jordyn Wickes’ second-half brace inspired a comeback victory for MSU at DeMartin Stadium.

“We were undefeated in the regular season, but we didn’t get a chance to play them [Minnesota],” head coach Jeff Hosler said. “They created problems for us with their direct style, and we had to come out and play with more urgency.”  

Sunday afternoon was the Spartan’s first Big Ten Tournament win since 2011. Last season, the Spartans were defeated in the quarterfinals by Iowa. 

It was another packed house at DeMartin Stadium with 2,838 fans in attendance. This was the second-largest crowd in program history. 

“It was a great turnout and a great fan support today,” Hosler said. 

Minnesota got off to a hot start just five minutes after the first whistle. Graduate midfielder/forward McKenna Buisman fired a rocket into the back right corner of the net, making it 1-0. Junior midfielder Sophia Boman was credited with the assist. 

The Spartans were unable to tie the game in the first 45 minutes. It was the first time since Sept.25 that the Spartans were trailing in regulation.

“We didn’t have the same swagger we’ve been playing with,” Hosler said. “Getting the goal early [in the second half] really helped us.” 

The second half featured more aggressive play by the MSU defense and better scoring opportunities that led to the victory. 

Jordyn Wickes would lead the Spartans with a brace in the second half. This was Wickes’ first multigoal game in her MSU career and one of her best overall performances

“We were able to kick it around a couple of times. They were able to spread it out and we could get those looks to the goal that we got,” Wickes said. “There’s a lot that goes into the game and kind of being able to exploit those moments.” 

Wickes’ first goal came in the 54th minute when her powerful header tied the game at 1-1. The assist came from junior midfielder Zivana Labovic.

“A lot of the players that were here a year ago really stepped up,” Hosler said. “We had some uncharacteristic moments but on a day where some of our elite players had their worst game of the season, others picked them up.”

“It shows a lot about the maturity of this group.”

Wickes’ second goal came 11 minutes later. Her long-range effort found the top-left corner of the net to make it 2-1.

Wickes now has seven goals this season. As a freshman, Wickes had only scored two.

The Spartans will travel to Field in Columbus to take on the fourth-seeded Nebraska Cornhuskers this Thursday, Nov.3. 

Kickoff is set for  2 p.m at the stadium of MLS side Columbus Crew. The game will be broadcasted on Big Ten Network.