EAST LANSING, Mich. – On a misty night at DeMartin Stadium, the Michigan State Spartans defeated the Bowling Green Falcons 3-2 in an overtime game. Bowling Green, who was voted No. 1 in the MAC preseason poll, fell to 2-3-1 on the season while Michigan State improved to 6-1.
In an eventful first half, Bowling Green struck first on a goal by Nikki Cox, her second goal of the season, which was assisted by Kristin Tveit.
Quickly after, Michigan State tied the game up at 1-1 on a goal by Camryn Evans. Evans scored her second goal of the season and was assisted by Michaela Kovacs.
In a high-scoring first half, Bowling Green regained the lead with 28 minutes left in the half. Nhkita Jacbb recorded her second career goal, and Bowling Green regained the lead at 2-1.
Spartans goalie Lauren Kozal recorded a spectacular save with 15 minutes left in the half on a breakaway attempt by the Falcons. Although, Bowling Green had plenty of chances to increase the lead before halftime. Neither team scored for the final 28 minutes, and Michigan State trailed 2-1 at the break. The Falcons outshot the Spartans 9-3 in the half.
At the half, head coach Tom Saxton’s message to the team was that they needed to gain territory and they did so during the entire second half.
The Spartans brought much more intensity. Early in the second half, Kovacs had a free kick to potentially tie up the game with 33 minutes left and she missed, but the Spartans continued to gain territory, with many chances.
After plenty of opportunities to score, Michigan State finally converted. The Spartans tied the game with just under 10 minutes left at 2-2. The game-tying goal was scored by Paige Weber, her second goal of the season.
The Falcons placed a perfect corner kick with 4:45 left but Kozal made a tremendous save to keep the game tied. A few moments later, Chelsee Washington had a perfect opportunity to score her second goal of the night and win the game. Washington missed, and the game would go into overtime a few moments later.
The Spartans would go on to win off a corner kick with 8:09 left in the first overtime. Gia Wahlberg scored her eighth goal of the season for the game winner. Whalberg was kept quiet throughout regulation. Wahlberg’s message was “to stick with it.”
After the Spartans won their overtime thriller Saxton said, “That [Bowling Green] was a critical win.”
Michigan State heads to Rochester, Michigan on Sunday to play Oakland University in their last non-conference game. The team hopes to stay hot heading into Big Ten play.