Michigan State University Student Radio

Impact 89FM | WDBM-FM

Michigan State University Student Radio

Impact 89FM | WDBM-FM

Michigan State University Student Radio

Impact 89FM | WDBM-FM

MSU’s late rally falls short in loss to Notre Dame

Jack Moreland
Michigan State senior forward Ranya Senhaji’s pass is stopped by defender Waniya Hudson in MSU’s game vs. Notre Dame on September 3, 2023. Notre Dame defeated Michigan State, 2-1. Photo Credit: Jack Moreland/WDBM

EAST LANSING – Michigan State women’s soccer’s late comeback against No. 15 Notre Dame fell short, as the Spartans were defeated by the Fighting Irish 2-1 on Sunday afternoon at DeMartin Stadium. 

Notre Dame’s stout backline was as good as advertised in the match. Led by ACC Defender of the Year Eva Gaetino, the Spartans had no answer for the elite Irish defense that only allowed 16 goals a season ago. 

“I thought we did an incredible job showing a lot of resolve, patience and composure,” said MSU head coach Jeff Hosler. “We just have to have our foot on the gas a little bit more a little earlier to give us a chance to equalize.”

In the ninth minute, Notre Dame struck first with a goal from senior forward Ellie Ospeck. Leah Klenke was credited with the assist after a nice cross into the box, leading to the easy tap in. 

The Fighting Irish took their 1-0 into the half, led by a dominant backline and high press defense that stifled the Spartans counter-attack opportunities.

Notre Dame forward Maddie Mercado added an insurance goal in the 50th minute, which was assisted by Ospeck. 

MSU had its share of opportunities in the second half. Seven shots on goal in the second half propelled the Spartans comeback attempt, which ended up falling short. Junior forward Jordyn Wickes recorded her team-leading fifth goal of the season in the 87th minute to cut the deficit to one. 

“We wanted to get our outside box higher and more into the attack. It obviously left us more exposed, and that’s how we conceded  that second goal,” Hosler said. 

MSU had a corner kick just before the final whistle blew, but couldn’t equalize.

“We have to go get our result on Thursday,” said Hosler of MSU’s upcoming match against North Carolina State. “We got to do a better job and go get a result. It’s our third opportunity against a power-5 team, a perennial NCAA tournament team.” 

The Spartans will return to action on Thursday, Sept. 7 at NC State. The team will return home on Sept. 10 for a match with the Dayton Flyers at 1 p.m. 

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About the Contributors
Jay DeCoster, Sports Editorial Assistant
Jay is a senior studying Mediated Communications at Michigan State. He joined Impact in September of 2021 as a volunteer. Jay is the Michigan State Football & women's soccer beat reporter for the Impact sports department. His interests include supporting his favorite Chicago sports teams, and golfing in the summer. "If you got a dream, chase it, 'cause a dream won't chase you back" - Cody Johnson
Jack is a sports photographer for Impact. He grew up just outside of East Lansing and has been a lifelong Spartan. He has a primary interest in basketball and contributes to Impact’s NBA podcast, Courtside Convo.

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