Michigan State Advances To Semifinals, 3-2, Over Ohio State
STATE COLLEGE, Pa.- In the opening contest of the 2002 Big Ten Men¨ªs Soccer Championship, No. 6 seed Michigan State (12-6-0) defeated third-seeded Ohio State (11-7-1), 3-2. The Spartan victory avenged a regular season 3-1 loss to the Buckeyes. Michigan State advances to the semifinal round of the championship and will play the winner of the Michigan-Northwestern contest on Friday at 7:30 p.m. ET.??
From the outset of the first half, Michigan State initiated an aggressive offensive assault on Ohio State. The Buckeye defense was up to the task, though, and three early shots were thwarted by the OSU defense. That pressure would pay off, however, when an Ohio State defender, while trying to clear the ball from his zone, headed the ball into his own goal, past a diving Chad Brown. That mistake would give the Spartans an early 1-0 lead. Later in the half, Michigan State had two more viable opportunities to extend its lead but could not convert. A Craig Hearn shot sailed wide on one occasion. Minutes later, Colin Hamilton could not catch up to and control a Thomas Trivelloni centering pass in front of an open goal. At the 39:46 mark, Michigan State repaid Ohio State¨ªs earlier gaffe to knot the game at 1-1. A Spartan defender headed a loose ball into his own goal beyond prone goalie,Tyler Robinson.??
A back-and-forth second half affair was broken by Michigan State forward Brett Konley at the 56:32 mark. The Spartans leading scorer gave MSU the 2-1 advantage by notching his ninth goal of the season unassisted. Ohio State answered back just over five minutes later when, after receiving a pass from Sammy Tamporello, Kevin Nugent chipped a shot over the stretch of MSU¨ªs Robinson. Nugent¨ªs fourth score of the year re-tied the game at 2-2.?
Just when it looked as though the game might possibly be headed for overtime, Michigan State¨ªs Jordan Gruber ensured that it wouldn¨ªt. With under four minutes remaining in the game, Gruber snuck a left-footer into the corner of the near post just past the outstretched arms of OSU goalie Chad Brown for the game-winner. Derek Ornekian and Jeffrey Krass assisted on the clinching play.
Michigan State dominated play in the first half, outshooting Ohio State 9-1. The Buckeyes, though, turned up their offensive pace in the second half, shooting nine times compared to six for the Spartans. Ohio State had the advantage in corner kicks 4-2.
MICHIGAN STATE COACH JOE BAUM
OHIO STATE HEAD COACH JOHN BLUEM