EAST LANSING, Mich. - Playing in front of a raucous crowd on Alumni Day, the Michigan State men’s soccer team scored three unanswered goals to stop Ohio State, 3-1, on Saturday night.
Three different Spartans scored for MSU, while junior midfielder Michael Miller provided three assists in the game. With the win, Michigan State improved to 3-7-3 overall and 3-1-1 in Big Ten action. The Spartans also earned their first win at DeMartin Stadium this year. Ohio State falls to 6-7-1 overall and 1-3-1 in league contests.
“It was great I mean I was really happy with the performance from the guys. It was a great night, a doubleheader with the women, and alumni day. Certainly have to thank all the alumni that came out that’s always a special night, and they’re the reason why we do these things and what we play for. We don’t just play for the 2019 season; we play for something bigger and that’s the Michigan State soccer family. We have a chance to get close to second place and control our own destiny in the Big Ten. For those guys to come out and perform the way they did, I was very proud of them,” MSU head coach Damon Rensing said.
Ohio State struck first in the 27th minute with Matteo Bennati scoring his third goal of the season. After a corner kick by Jack Holland, Bennati connected on a ball just out of reach of MSU redshirt-sophomore goalkeeper Hunter Morse.
After the Buckeye goal, the Spartans picked up the pace and maintained control for the remainder of the half. In the 40th minute, Michigan State found the equalizer with sophomore forward Farai Mutatu’s second goal of the year. Miller located freshman forward Conner George for his first collegiate point. George then found Mutatu who scored from 12 yards out.
“This season, we’ve had some unlucky breaks and so in this game we wanted to be aggressive. Coach told us from the beginning let’s press them. It’s our home field, and we’ve got to get a win at home. I think we came out aggressive, and we just kept pushing and that helped us put some goals in the back of the net,” Mutatu said.
The half ended with the game knotted at 1-1, but the Spartans came out swinging in the second half.
In the 50th minute, George added to his point total with his first collegiate goal. Miller and redshirt-sophomore Alex Shterenberg found George who’s blast from the middle of the box got past OSU goalkeeper Xavier Kennedy.
The Spartans sealed the win in the 56th minute when senior defender Michael Wetungu scored his first goal of the season. Off of a Miller corner kick, senior defender Patrick Nielsen’s header found Wetungu who flicked the ball in to the goal. Last season, Wetungu scored the game-winning goal against the Buckeyes.
Michigan State now steps out of conference play to take on in-state rival Oakland on the road on Tuesday, Oct. 22 at 7 p.m. The Spartans then return to Big Ten play to take on Northwestern on Friday, Sept. 25 at 8:30 p.m. (ET) in Evanston.