EAST LANSING – Michigan State women’s soccer suffered a hard-fought 3-0 loss against the Iowa Hawkeyes in Sunday’s Big Ten match.
And without their leading goal scorer due to injury, Gia Whalberg – the Spartans suffered their first loss at DeMartin Stadium this season. The Spartans win streak at home was put to an end as they ended the game with even being able to get one goal.
With a good-sized home crowd at DeMartin Stadium, the Spartans looked to improve their 1-2-1 record in the Big Ten conference after their 0-0 stalemate against Minnesota (1-3-0).
The Spartans, formerly 6-0 at home, would have claimed their seventh consecutive victory at home in all competitions.
“You can’t give up two corner kick goals, it’s that simple,” Spartan head coach Tom Saxton said. “We gave up seven corners, in general, about four of them unforced, in my mind.”
The Hawkeyes won the majority of the balls in the midfield, and they showed no let down in intensity as they led 2-0 in the first 45 minutes.
MSU struggled to regain possession many times, but when they counter-attacked, they showed glimpses of an attacking efficiency.
Saxton also asserted that the Spartans had, “plenty of chances going forward.”
Including a missed opportunity to take the lead early in the first half.
Iowa’s speed and energy is an element that the Spartans had trouble keeping up with.
“They (Iowa) have good team speed,” said Saxton. “We were subbing tired legs.”
When MSU had possession of the ball, Iowa played a high defensive line and often pressured MSU’s defense into making mistakes and letting go of the ball.
“We have to play better in critical moments,” said Saxton.
Coming out of the half, with the Spartans two goals down, both teams looked determined to each get a result and put some goals in.
Halfway through the second half, there was a video goal review for Iowa, after a headed shot was cleared on the line by MSU.
There was no goal given after the officials reviewed it.
Finally at the 78th Iowa capitalized on big opportunities to get a headed goal from a corner into the Spartan net.
The third goal in the second half surely sealed the game for the hawkeyes. As time went down in the last 10 minutes, both teams continued to be aggressive in recovering lost possession.
The Spartans are now 8-4-1 in all competitions and 1-3-1 in the Big Ten conference. Their next game will be a Big Ten Friday night showdown at Northwestern.