East Lansing, Mich. - Michigan State opened its home slate with a 2-1 victory over Fordham on Sunday afternoon at DeMartin Stadium. MSU improved to 2-0 on the young season, while the Rams fall to 0-2 after falling at Michigan on Friday night. Annie Steinlage had a goal and an assist, senior Jordan Mueller scored for MSU, while Courtney Clem made six saves for the Spartans in net.
"I thought we were a little sluggish at times, and when we subbed for some fresh legs, Fordham took advantage of those situations," said head coach Tom Saxton. "I thought that Courtney Clem was really, really good for us today, and I don't think that there was a thing that she could do on the point-blank shot that they scored on. It was nice to see Annie [Steinlage] get rewarded - she's been so close so many times. We'll take both the good and bad from today and use it in preparing for next weekend."
The Spartans had a great chance with about eight minutes remaining in the opening half, as Rachel VanPoppelen's offering from the left side forced keeper Rachel Suther to leap to her left, but Suther came up with the impressive save to keep the game scoreless. In the 43rd minute, the home team finally got on the board, as Annie Steinlage was able to knock home a free ball in the box off a corner play for her first goal of the season.
The Spartans second goal came well into the second half. Steinlage tapped the ball to Stander on a corner kick, and Stander took it from the corner to about 15 yards out and launched a shot netward. Her offering ricocheted off the left post, and Mueller was there for an opportunistic put-back on her first goal of the season.
Fordham finally broke through in the 83rd minute with their first goal of the season. Kristina Maksuti finished off a nice cross from Victoria Camaj for the first points of the year for both players, a goal which snapped MSU keeper Courtney Clem's personal shutout streak at 172:35.
Clem finished with six saves on the day, while the Fordham keepers combined for six as well -Rachel Suther had two in the first half with one goal allowed, and her halftime replacement, Ally White, made four stops. Each Ram keeper allowed one tally.
The Spartans will be back in action next weekend at home for a pair of games, hosting Loyola (Friday) and Cal State Fullerton (Sunday) at DeMartin Stadium.