Oct. 6, 2006
EVANSTON, Ill. -- Michigan State scored the game-winning goal in the 81st minute Friday to top the Wildcats, 2-1. Zendzi Neal (Washington, D.C./Washington International) scored the lone goal for the 'Cats early in the second half.
With the loss, Northwestern falls to 7-6, 3-2 in the Big Ten. Michigan State improves to 1-3 in conference, 5-6-1 overall.
The Wildcats game out strong, carrying the momentum of their successful road weekend. Freshman Alicia Herczeg (Agoura Hills, Calif./Agoura), who scored the game-winner against Ohio State, had a scoring opportunity early in the frame. She took a header that sailed just wide of the net. Sophomore Jenny Dunn (Pacific Palisades, Calif./Louisville) came close to a goal as well. She took two shots at the Spartan goalkeeper on a one-on-one rush, but the 'Cats had to settle for a corner kick opportunity.
Michigan State took a 1-0 on a goal by Kristi Timar at the 18:56 mark. Jenee Witherspoon and Breana Ballard picked up the assists. The Spartans took the one-goal lead into halftime.
Neal netted the equalizer for the 'Cats in the 58th minute. Michigan State attempted to clear the ball from deep within Spartan territory. Neal corralled the attempted clear in traffic, created space and put a shot into the top right corner for the goal. It was the freshman's second tally of 2006.
The teams kept play in the middle of the field for most of the second half with the score tied at 1-1. The Wildcat's best chance came when junior Kelsey Hans (Lakeville Minn./Lakeville) got behind a charging Spartan goalie at the edge of the 18-yard box. A defender backing up the play foiled Hans' opportunity.
Michigan State broke the stalemate with a goal in the 81st minute by Megan Brown. The Spartans went up 2-1 and held on for the victory, their first in Big Ten play.
"Michigan State was desperate for a conference win and took us out of our game a little bit," head coach Stephanie Erickson
said. "We still need to work on being more consistent in every phase of the game for the full 90 minutes."
The 'Cats return to action for their last home game Sunday at 1 p.m. Seniors Tori Bohannon (Neenah, Wis./Neenah), Katie Wright (Greenwood, Ind./Center Grove), Whitney Jones (Glen Ellyn, Ill./Glenbard West) and Cathy Biglary (Skokie, Ill./Niles North) will be honored before the game as part of a Senior Day ceremony.