EAST LANSING, Mich. - In the inaugural Capital Cup, Michigan State men’s soccer fell to Lansing Ignite, 4-0, at a spirited Cooley Law School Stadium on Tuesday night.
Playing without several starters, the Spartans battled the Ignite in a tight first half with LIFC breaking it open in the second half with three goals.
“The environment was really good for soccer in this community. We were a little disappointed with how we played. Obviously, the injury early on really changed things. In the spring we without our seniors, so we are like three-quarters of a team. Three of our seniors are playing in the MLS, and they would have made a difference in this game,” MSU head coach Damon Rensing said. “You play with the cards that you are dealt. Nate (Miller) does a great job with Lansing Ignite, and we will be cheering for them the rest of the summer.”
Michigan State started off applying pressure with some early scoring chances, but nothing on net.
The Ignite struck first in the 28th minute. Pato Botello-Faz gave the Ignite the 1-0 lead after scrum in the box led to Botell-Faz slipping the ball past MSU goalkeeper Hunter Morse.
The Spartans looked to get the offense going in the 41st minute. Sophomore midfielder Michael Miller started the action with a corner kick that found the head of freshman forward Farai Mutatu, but the attempt was blocked, as the Ignite held on to the 1-0 lead. The Spartan offense created several chances late in the half, but MSU did not find the equalizer.
Early in the second half, the Ignite made the score 2-0 when Steeve Saint-Duc’s shot was just out of reach of Morse. In the 62nd minute, LIFC upped its lead to 3-0 after a goal by Elma Nfor.
In the 71st minute, MSU had one of its best chances of the game when freshman forward Julian Ajroja’s blast was saved by LIFC goalkeeper Kyle Ihn.
Late in the game, the Ignite sealed the win with a final goal against junior goalkeeper Isiah Handspike for the 4-0 final score.
“I thought the environment was good for the first night. I thought the soccer weather gods were with us, so I thought that both teams showed some good stuff,” Rensing said. “All-in-all I think it was a good inaugural Capital Cup and good for soccer.”
Michigan State continues spring action on Saturday, April 20, taking on Detroit FC at PAL Complex at 5 p.m. The game is already sold out.