Injury-Plagued Spartans Fall to Cornell in Overtime, 2-1

Michigan State University
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EAST LANSING, Mich. - Despite the first career goal for freshman Alaa Algahim, the Michigan State men’s soccer team fell in overtime 2-1 Sunday in front of another boisterous crowd at DeMartin Stadium.

With injuries mounting, the Spartans now fall to 0-2-2 this season, while the Big Red improve to 1-1 this season. Michigan State once again played without MAC Hermann Trophy candidates Giuseppe Barone and Patrick Nielsen who have been battling injuries all season.

“I was really proud of the team today. We showed a lot of character and you know sometimes the result doesn’t come your way, but I thought we got better. I love my group, I love them. We had concussions, injuries, battled a very direct style of play, and I thought our guys played some good soccer. It was an unfortunate overtime and just kind of a game of chances and mistakes, but I was really proud of our guys. I like this group, and we’re going to get better.” MSU head coach Damon Rensing said.

Early this season, Michigan State has been relying on a young squad with 11 freshmen and sophomores playing significant minutes against Cornell. The Spartans started three true freshman in Algahim, defender Nick Stone and forward Gianni Ferri.

Cornell came out strong in the first half, out-shooting Michigan State, 6-2. The Spartans got their first shot on goal in the 17th minute when sophomore midfielder Jack Beck that was hauled in by Cornell’s Ryan Shellow. Junior Michael Miller also added a shot on goal in the first 45 minutes.

As time expired in the first half, redshirt-sophomore goalkeeper Hunter Morse made a brilliant fingertip save on a shot by John Scearce to keep the Big Red off the scoreboard.

“They had a couple things but again it was just very direct, got some knockdowns, made some things happen and lots of restarts. We are 0-2-2 we’re not excited about that but you know what things happen in life and things don’t go exactly the way you want. I really like this group and we’re going to get back to the drawing board. We’ve got a week to get better and trust me we’ll be ready for Dartmouth,” Rensing said.

In the second half, Cornell got on the scoreboard in the 52nd minute when Harry Fuller scored his first goal of the season off the pass from Connor Drought.

The Spartans scored the equalizer in the 61st minute. Algahim drilled a shot past Shellow after a pair of blistering passes from Alex Shterenberg and Farai Mutatu. Shterenberg now leads the team with one goal and one assist for three points.

After the game was forced into overtime, Cornell found the golden goal in the 96th minute when Will Citron connected from nine yards to give the Big Red the overtime win.

The Spartans now hit the road, taking on Dartmouth on Saturday, Sept. 14 at 7 p.m.