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

Michigan State women’s soccer ties with Dayton

Jack Moreland
Emerson Sargeant heads the ball against Notre Dame on September 3, 2023. The Spartans were defeated by Notre Dame, 2-1. Photo Credit: Jack Moreland/WDBM

EAST LANSING – On a sunny Sunday afternoon, the Michigan State women’s soccer team hosted the Dayton Flyers and the competition resulted in a tie, 2-2. The Spartans also honored alumni from the Spartan women’s soccer team at halftime of the match. 

The Spartans move to a 5-2-1 record overall with the draw, as Dayton moves onto 5-1-2. 

The game was knotted at zero for all of the first half, but it felt imminent that the Spartans were going to score eventually with how many shots MSU was getting at the net. While they did score two goals in the second half, the Flyers were able to equalize after both goals.  

“Frankly, if you score two goals in a game you should win,” said Spartans head coach Jeff Hosler. “I think we shot ourselves in the foot. Bad giveaway and bad decisions that led to the penalty kick. I give Dayton a ton of credit, they made key plays in those tough moments. We made some, but we didn’t make enough to get the result today.”

Freshman Bella Najera opened up the scoring for the Spartans in the 52nd minute with a beautiful top corner goal, assisted by senior Ranya Senhaji. This was Najera’s third goal in four games. Even though a draw was not what the Spartans wanted today, Hosler had a very positive takeaway from the game revolving around Najera. 

“It is undeniable she is our very best player on the team,” Hosler stated with immense confidence. “She’s the most consistent player, she provides the most effort, she makes the biggest plays when the team needs them, and she is willing to put herself in those situations.”

Najera builds confidence off of her coach boosting her ego from the sidelines and knows what she is capable of. 

“He (Hosler) definitely boosts my confidence a lot,” said Najera. “I just have that belief in myself, and I know that he believes in me and the whole team does.”

In the 65th minute, Dayton would tie the game on a penalty kick. Senior MJ Andrus netted her first goal of the season later in the 78th to take the 2-1 lead. 

MSU had less than a minute to enjoy its one goal lead, as Dayton’s Madison Wilson tied the game at two with only 10 minutes left of action. The game would play out as such. 

Foul calls played a big part of the game. There were 24 fouls called total, 14 on Dayton and 10 on MSU. The first booking would not occur until the Flyers’ Noel Blain received a yellow card in the 87th minute. Coach Hosler spoke outwardly on the current state of foul calls in women’s soccer. 

“There’s a bit of an epidemic in our game right now,” said Hosler. “We allow teams to have 15 plus fouls throughout the course of a match and nobody ever gets booked. When you come and watch the men play at DeMartin Stadium, a guy gets called for a hard foul and is booked immediately. In our sport… for some reason they allow five or six fouls before they are even talked to.”

After a hard fought draw, Michigan State will open up Big Ten play versus Ohio State at 1:00 p.m on Sunday, Sept. 17 at DeMartin Stadium. 

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About the Contributors
Colby Schikora, Writer
Colby Schikora is a senior studying sports journalism. He is in his second year at Impact and is currently the men's and women's socer beat reporter. He is also involved with Spartan Sports Report as a producer. 
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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