EAST LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – What already was an exciting weekend in East Lansing, after the Michigan State football took down Nebraska in overtime, got better for Spartan fans on Sunday, with both MSU soccer teams in action at DeMartin Stadium.
The women started the day at high noon against Minnesota, looking to bounce back from its first loss of the season on Thursday. In that loss, the Spartans failed to score a goal against nationally-ranked Wisconsin, thus resulting in a 1-0 defeat.
On Sunday, MSU cracked the scoreboard, on a first-half penalty kick from sophomore defender Zivana Labovic.
“We were really relentless and we knew we had to keep creating chances because after a while it was going to come. And sure enough, it did,” Labovic said. “It’s hard for them to run 90 minutes just chasing balls, so I’m really proud of them for that.”
The game remained 1-0 up until the 79th minute and when all seemed to go the Spartans’ way, the Golden Gophers found the back of the net to tie things up. Izzy Brown scored the equalizer for Minnesota.
Hunting for a key three points, MSU wasn’t phased by the tying goal and responded almost immediately. In the 83rd minute, the ball was sent into the box and eventually found the foot of MJ Andrus, who had nothing but green grass and opportunities in front of her.
Andrus gave it a big boot and gave MSU the lead right back, with seven minutes to play.
“We’ve been working hard as a team and I’ve been working hard individually at practice, doing some extra work off the field, and I’m just so humbled that that opportunity came,” Andrus said. “We are such a family and we have been working from start to finish. From scout, to on the field, to practice, everything we do is as a team and as a family. We’ve been working so hard to get those three points and overall we executed it, and you see our reaction, we’re on top of the world.”
Andrus’ goal was her first of the season and proved to be the game-winner, leading MSU to a 2-1 win over Minnesota. With the win, the Spartans pick up three points and are now tied for third place in the Big Ten.
“It was a big sign of growth for us,” first-year coach, Jeff Hosler said. “To have the resiliency to conceive that equalizer with ten minutes left and keep our focus, keep our foot on the gas and go for it. We talked about it before this game, and said ‘We have to get three points.’ You can see with this group, they’re getting mentality tougher each day. They’re growing every day and it’s a huge three points.”
The men followed the women shortly after the conclusion of their match and were tasked with taking on Indiana.
Things remained scoreless in the first half, but the Hoosiers made quick work in the second half. Patrick McDonald found the back of the net three minutes into the half. Despite MSU out-shooting Indiana, 16-4, the score remained 1-0 until the end and the Spartans would drop to 4-4-1 this season.