EAST LANSING, Mich. - A pair of goals in each half propelled 14th-rated Michigan State (9-2-1) to a 2-1 men's soccer victory over No. 17 Akron (6-4-1) on Tuesday, Oct. 11.
"A tough loss, Michigan State is a good team and you have to give them credit for the way they competed today," Akron head coach Jared Embick commented. "They punished us on a couple mistakes. We did not put them under enough pressure for 90 minutes. Only when we went two down did we compete and put them under pressure the way we should have for 90 minutes. Unfortunately, we lost our composure and had a player sent off which hurt our chances to tie the game up. We have to learn these lessons quick and get ready for our next game."
The Zips bettered the Spartans in the affair in shots, 8-5, while each side recorded five shots on goal. Junior Stuart Holthusen (Auckland, New Zealand) led Akron with a team-high two shots, while six other Zips posted one shot apiece. Michigan State garnered the decision in the top-25 showdown despite not having a single player record more than one.
Sophomore Ben Lundt (Berlin, Germany) registered three saves for the Zips, while Jimmy Hague corralled four stops for the Spartans.
Holthusen navigated the first shot on goal in the affair taking aim on the net at the 14:26 mark, but his attempt was denied by a save from Hague.
Less than a minute later in the 16th minute (15:18), redshirt junior Sam Gainford (Liverpool, England) accounted for the Zips' second shot, a strike that went wide of target.
The Spartans broke onto the scoreboard first after the Zips where whistled for a foul in the box in the 22nd minute (21:24) resulting in a penalty kick. Ryan Sierakowski delivered on the scoring opportunity recording his seventh tally of the season to give Michigan State a 1-0 lead.
The shot proved to be the only one of the initial stanza for the Spartans, who were outshot by Akron in the first half, 2-1.
After Lundt came up with a save on Giuseppe Barone's shot on goal at the 45:45 mark, Akron recorded a pair of shots on goal from seniors Goncalo Soares (Lisbon, Portugal) and Adam Najem (Clifton, N.J.) in the 48th (47:03) and 50th (49:02) minutes, respectively, both of which were denied by stops from Hague.
The Spartans extended their lead to 2-0 at the 52:28 mark off the second goal of the year from Hunter Barone. The tally came off a successful corner kick delivered from Ryan Scott into Jimmy Fiscus, who found Barone for the goal.
Redshirt freshman Skye Harter (Copley, Ohio) cut Akron's deficit to 2-1 in the 71st minute (70:32) connecting on his third goal of the year off an assist from Najem.
The Zips were then forced to play a man down over the final 15 minutes after the squad was issued a red card.
Redshirt junior Robby Dambrot (Akron, Ohio) posted Akron's last attempt on frame at the 83:49 mark, a shot that was saved by Hague.
The Zips return to action on Saturday, Oct. 15, as Akron travels to DeKalb, Ill., for a 7 p.m. ET tilt at Northern Illinois.