Gophers soccer loses 2-1 against Michigan State, drops their second match this season

Michigan State’s MJ Andrus scored the match-winning goal with just six minutes remaining.

The+Gophers+huddled+up+in+a+match+earlier+this+season+against+Wisconsin+on+Saturday%2C+Sept.+18%2C+2021%2C+at+Elizabeth+Lyle+Robbie+Stadium+in+Falcon+Heights%2C+Minn.

Christopher Mitchell - Gopher Athletics

The Gophers huddled up in a match earlier this season against Wisconsin on Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021, at Elizabeth Lyle Robbie Stadium in Falcon Heights, Minn.

Michael Lyne, Sports Reporter

Gophers soccer dropped their second match this season on Sunday evening after Michigan State scored a late goal to win 2-1.

“We are disappointed with today’s loss,” Gophers head coach Erin Chastain said. “I think coming out of the weekend 1-1, we’ll focus on that. We’ll also focus on a really tough Rutgers team on Thursday and get back to work on the training field.”

Early in the match, at the 10-minute mark, Michigan State’s Bella Jodzis received a wide-open cross in a high danger area just outside the six-yard box and fired a low shot toward the Gophers’ goal. However, junior goalkeeper Megan Plaschko positioned herself well and made a massive right-foot kick save to keep the match scoreless.

Just minutes before halftime, the referees awarded Michigan State a penalty kick after senior Delaney Stekr challenged MJ Andrus inside the right side of the box, causing her to be off-balance and eventually fall over near the Gophers’ goal-line.

Michigan State’s Zivana Labovic took the penalty kick and fired the ball with her right foot into the right side of the net to give the Spartans a 1-0 lead. Plaschko predicted the shot by diving to her left, but it was out of her reach.

The Spartans went into halftime with a 1-0 lead, leading the Gophers in shots at 9-7 and corners at 3-1.

In the second half, the Gophers continued to find opportunities and eventually found the back of the net with 10 minutes remaining in the match.

Senior Patricia Ward (secondary assist) played a corner kick quickly to senior McKenna Buisman (primary assist) outside the left side of the box. Then Buisman crossed the ball just outside the six-yard box to find wide-open junior Izzy Brown, who one-touched the ball into the top left corner of the goal to score her fifth goal this season and tie the match at 1-1.

“Proud that with 10 minutes left, we tied it up,” Chastain said. “It was a great goal and executed really well.”

Three minutes later, at the 83-minute mark, senior Megan Gray had a chance inside the box, but Michigan State goalkeeper Lauren Kozal wrapped the ball up to keep the game tied.

It seemed like the momentum was in the Gophers’ favor. However, less than a minute later, the Spartans came on the counter-attack.

Raegan Cox crossed the ball into the middle of the box to find Andrus, who struck the loose ball into the back of the net after a Gophers miscommunication on the defensive end to give Michigan State a 2-1 lead with just six minutes left on the clock.

Andrus’ goal would be the eventual match-winner for Michigan State as the goal came late and the Gophers could not find an answer.

The Gophers (5-2-3) will return home to take on Rutgers (7-2) at Elizabeth Lyle Robbie Stadium on Thursday, Sept. 30, at 6 p.m.

“It’s a great group,” Chastain said on Rutgers. “This year, they have typically had really good responses, so we’ll expect the same next week.”