EAST LANSING, Mich. – In the Spartans’ Big Ten home opener, the men’s soccer team tied Ohio State 1-1, at DeMartin Stadium Sunday afternoon.
Michigan State took a late 1-0 lead in the 64th minute against the Buckeyes, but eventually surrendered their advantage with six minutes remaining in the game.
“I told the guys after we lost to Valparaiso that they shouldn’t have been sad about the result because they hadn’t put everything on the line to deserve to be sad,” said head coach Damon Rensing. “Today we put everything on the line and really played some good soccer.”
The Spartans’ only goal came from last week’s Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week, Adam Montague, in the 64th minute of play. The junior forward scored his team-leading fourth goal of the season to take a late 1-0 lead. Montague headed a Ryan Thelen corner kick directly into the ground where it bounced once inside the six-yard box, continued to the near post and into the back of the net.
Ohio State would continue to pressure the Michigan State defense and create goal opportunities, after sustaining the late one-goal deficit.
“Not being able to score early on really put a pressure on us defensively,” said Adam Montague. “They were throwing a ton of numbers forward, and we found ourselves defending for the last 25 minutes.”
The Buckeyes persistent second half offensive pressure would prevail when in the 84th minute, midfielder Ryan Ivancic tallied an equalizer to force overtime.
Neither side could generate a goal in either twenty minute overtime period, so the 7-1-1 Spartans and the 2-6-3 Buckeyes would settle for a 1-1 draw.
Michigan State drops to 1-0-1 in the Big Ten and moves to second in the conference standings behind 3-0-0 Penn State. The Spartans receive a couple days rest after Sunday’s draw before the Spartans host 5-2-5 Oakland Wednesday at 4:00 p.m.
“We’re going to be ready to go Wednesday,” said Montague. “The best part about our team is that we have a short memory. Tomorrow morning we’ll be ready to go.”
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-MSU allowed only their third goal of the season at home on Sunday. It was the first scored at home since September 8th against Valparaiso.
-Average attendance in the Spartans’ first five home games: 1,213; Sunday’s attendance against Ohio State: 2,032
Jonathan Yales is the host of Corner Kick for Impact Sports.
Photo: David Defever