Men's soccer: Ohio State upsets No. 8 Michigan State to advance to Big Ten semifinals
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio State men’s soccer team shocked No. 8 Michigan State with a 2-1 win in the quarterfinals of the 2017 Big Ten Tournament Sunday afternoon at DeMartin Stadium in East Lansing, Mich. Junior forward Michael Prosuk and junior midfielder Abdi Mohamed each scored a goal in the first half, while Parker Siegfried made five saves in an exciting match that saw tough playing conditions after an hour-long weather delay. The Buckeyes improve to 8-9-1 and the Spartans drop to 11-3-3 in 2017. The big road win in East Lansing snaps an 18-match home unbeaten streak for the Green and White.
“I thought we came out of the delay a little bit sharper and we knew mistakes were going to be made with the wet field conditions,” head coach John Bluem said. “The two goals helped our spirit. At halftime, we were determined to win the game. It was a fantastic defensive effort to prevent them from scoring that second goal. Our guys were doing it all to hold them. We’re so proud of this win today. We went through a difficult stretch of games in the month of October and couldn’t’ find a way to win. Credit to our guys, they never stopped believing. They get to go to the Final Four in one of the best conferences in the country.”
The Buckeyes scored a crucial early goal in the eighth minute. The momentum started when Siegfried made a big save at 6:38 on a close shot from the left wing by Ken Krolicki. The offense then went on the counter as Joshua Jackson-Ketchup found Michael Prosuk with space up top. He surprised MSU keeper Jimmy Hague when he sent a chip shot into the back of the net at 7:37 for the 1-0 lead. It marked his second goal of the season and just the 10th goal MSU has allowed this fall.
The Spartans looked to get a quick equalizer and controlled the majority of the ball for the remainder of the half. Dealing with tough conditions, the OSU defense did a solid job denying four MSU corners in a five-minute span at 19:55. Siegfried was active throughout the first half and made three saves.
The lead grew to two goals just before halftime when Mohamed sent a bullet that knuckled inside the far post from 23 yards out at 41:10. The Spartans were issued a yellow card to set up the Buckeye set piece when Jimmy Fiscus fouled Nate Kohl just outside the box.
The Green and White got right back in the match in the 50th minute when John Freitag scored from eight yards out from the near post as Siegfried was off his line. Freitag found netting somehow through a crowded box at 49:29.
Michigan State had one final chance to find a second goal when the team was given a free kick at the top of the box with 31 seconds to go on the clock. But Ryan Sierakowski’s free kick hit the post and bounced away before time expired.
Despite 16 corners in the match, the Spartans failed to score an equalizer against a determined Buckeye defense, who stayed organized and in control as the Green and White put the pressure on in the second half. The Spartans outshot the Scarlet and Gray, 12-0, during the final period. In all, the Buckeyes battled tough and successfully cleared 10 second-half corners to help seal the team’s first nationally-ranked win of the season. Siegfried came up with a key save in the 84th minute to finish with five stops on the day and improve to 8-5-1 in 2017.