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

No.12/13 Michigan State remains undefeated with 2-2 tie against Oakland

Peyton Skiver
Sophomore forward Jake Spadafora moves the ball for the Spartans against Oakland at DeMartin Stadium on Tuesday, September 26, 2023. Spadafora was one of two goal scorers in the match for Michigan State in a 2-2 draw.

 EAST LANSING – The Michigan State men’s soccer team returned to the pitch at DeMartin Stadium on Tuesday night to face off against the Oakland Golden Grizzlies for the first time since 2021 on Hometown Heroes night. Coming off of their first win over the Indiana Hoosiers since 2014 on Friday night, the Spartans entered the matchup ranked 12th in the nation and came from behind to draw with Oakland 2-2 in a thrilling matchup.

The Golden Grizzlies struck first with a goal from senior midfielder Owen Smith off the assist from freshman forward Donovan Phillip in the 19th minute.

At the end of one-half play, Oakland maintained a 1-0 lead over the Spartans despite being outshot by MSU 6-2 and the Spartans spending the majority of the first half in Golden Grizzlies territory. 

Oakland’s defense shined in the first half by stopping the Spartans’ momentum with steals and excellent goalkeeping by sophomore goalkeeper Michael Sly Jr., who recorded 3 saves in the first half. Jack Zugay and Jonathan Stout would each record 2 shots and 1 shot each on goal in the first half to lead the Spartans. 

Michigan State freshman forward Richie Ludwig runs past an Oakland defender at DeMartin Stadium on Tuesday, September 26, 2023. (Avery Kotel)

To begin the second half, the Spartans allowed another opportunity to get away from them when Michael Sly Jr. made a fantastic save on a penalty kick by junior midfielder Sean Kerrigan, which was awarded after a foul by Oakland defender Micah Sonnenberg in the 48th minute. Sly Jr. would end the game with eight saves.

The Spartans would finally get on the board in the 71st minute when Jake Spadafora scored off a steal.  Two minutes later, a miscommunication by the Spartan defense in the box would lead to Oakland’s goal by Andrew Darakdijan, assisted by Mohamed Hammoud to make it 2-1 in favor of the Golden Grizzlies.

In the 88th minute, MSU’s Jonathan Stout scored the equalizer to make it 2-2. After a review of the goal, Oakland’s Malik Sylvester received a yellow card for violent conduct on the goal attempt. MSU’s goal stood, securing the 2-2 draw. The Spartans will remain undefeated on the season with their record moving to 5-0-3. Despite the draw, MSU head coach Damon Rensing was pleased with how the Spartans were able to battle back to remain undefeated on the season.

“To get a tie when you’re down 2-1 is a good sign, it will fuel us to get sharper against a very good Penn State team,” said Coach Rensing.

The Spartans will look to bounce back when they return to Big Ten play against the Penn State Nittany Lions on Sunday for the Camper Reunion and Socktober game. Game time is set for 3 p.m. ET at DeMartin Stadium.

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About the Contributor
Caden is a sophomore journalist from Gross Pointe, Mich. He is the host of the Hedging the Bet podcast and a general assignment reporter for Impact 89FM.

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