EAST LANSING, Mich. - Michigan State men’s soccer concluded its spring campaign taking on the U20 Mexican National Team Sunday in front of a spirited crowd at DeMartin Stadium. The Mexican squad captured the 1-0 victory with a late goal in extra time.
“I thought it was a great environment; it’s a great way to end the spring. I thought our guys overall played well. I mean, we out-shot them I thought up until the end. Toward the end of the game we faded a little bit with our fitness and our depth right now with no seniors and some injuries, but I thought for the first 85 minutes of the game we were the better team and honestly probably unlucky to lose the game there at the end,” MSU head coach Damon Rensing said. “Probably 0-0 would’ve been a just result, but credit to them, their kid made a play, took advantage of an opportunity that was given to him. I just thought it was a really cool night; the crowd, connecting with the Hispanic community and energy for a spring game is a perfect way end the spring.”
In the first half, Michigan State had its best scoring opportunity in the 27th minute with a Cody Sweatte breakaway that hit the cross bar to keep the Spartans off the board. Michigan State had the final three shots of the half and out-shot the U20 Mexican National team, 6-4, in the first 45 minutes of action.
The second half started with a flurry of activity including a pair of dazzling back saves. Patrick Nielsen stopped the Mexican squad from getting on the board in the 56th minute. Goalkeeper Hunter Morse, taking over for former Big Ten Goalkeeper of the Year Jimmy Hague, was strong in net Sunday for the Spartans. In the 61st minute, Morse made a diving save to deny Ozziel Herrera, who had five shots on the day. Morse once against stopped Herrera after a dangerous shot in the 85th minute.
In extra time, Mexico finally broke through with a goal by Ettson Ayon to earn the 1-0 win.
MSU out-shot the U20 Mexican National Team, 14-12, for the match, with Morse making seven saves, including several of the spectacular variety.
“I think the Lansing Ignite helped prepare us a little bit and the DCFC. We’ve had some really cool experiences for our guys, and I think at this point we kind of know where we’re at. We know what our strengths are, what our weaknesses are. I thought (Patrick) Nielsen and (Nick) Woodruff were very good back there today. Hunter Morse taking over for Jimmy Hague had a heck of a game, and Pimlott was a good leader there too. I like where we’re at. I think it’s time to take a break and take a rest; I think we’ll come back ready in August,” Rensing said.
The Spartans will return to DeMartin Stadium in the August to begin the 2019 campaign.