Spartans suffer first loss of season against No. 13 Washington

Giuseppe Barone/Photo: MSU Athletic Communications

Giuseppe Barone/Photo: MSU Athletic Communications

Adam Bakr, Men's Soccer Beat Reporter

EAST LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan State men’s soccer team suffered its first loss of the season with a 1-0 defeat to the Washington Huskies. After back-to-back home draws, the loss leaves Michigan State winless after the opening three games. 

Michigan State made some changes to the lineup, with Gianni Ferri earning the first start of his collegiate career, as he replaced Ala Algahim. The Spartans also got one of their captains back, as senior Giuseppe Barone made his anticipated return from injury. 

MSU started the game on the front foot but it was short lived. After two Spartan shots were put off target, Washington began to take control of the game. With a majority of the possession, they soon started to find their rhythm in the midfield. 

Hunter Morse/Photo: MSU Athletic Communications

Washington put the ball in the back of the net twice before taking the lead, both being ruled offsides. Imanol Rosales scored after Hunter Morse perried a shot into the middle, but the initial rebound was offsides. Soon after, Jayson Baca was on the end of a great offensive play, but was just off on the cross box pass. 

The Huskies were not to worry over the disallowed goals for long however, as another solid play saw Rosales play Dylan Teves in behind, who unselfishly squared it Lucas Meek to tap it into the open goal. This gave Washington the lead with under two minutes left in the half. 

Washington had six shots in the first half, with three on target. Michigan State only had two shots, neither of which was on frame. 

After halftime Michigan State started to find a grip on the game. But despite having more of the ball, a majority coming in Washington’s half, they were still outshot 8-7 and Washington looked the more dangerous of the two teams, constantly posing a threat on the counter. MSU found it hard creating chances towards the end, and were unable to avoid the home defeat. 

Alex Shterenberg/Photo: MSU Athletic Communications

The loss was not without some positives for Michigan State. Goalkeeper Hunter Morse had seven saves in the outing, and the previously mentioned Giuseppe Barone played 45 minutes in his first game back from injury. 

“I think it was a very high level college soccer game. Washington punched us in the mouth, we weathered the storm and unfortunately gave up a goal in the last two minutes. In the second half we flipped a switch and played the way we needed to play in the first half,” head coach Damon Rensing said after the game.

“I want our team to self evaluate, not point fingers. I want our guys to look at themselves after a tough loss and ask themselves ‘what can I do better.’ We are not quite right. We have some inconsistencies from our young guys up there, when they show up they’re good, and we got to get everyone to show up and be on the same page.” 

Contact Adam Bakr at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter at @Adambakr14.