MSU men’s soccer showcases depth in 3-0 shutout over Bowling Green

EAST LANSING – After the Michigan State men’s soccer team had its season opener halted due to weather and eventually declared a no-contest with Loyola-Chicago, the Spartans hit the pitch for “Move-In Madness” on Monday night.

And with a packed DeMartin Field filled with the raucous “Red Cedar Rowdies” student section, the Spartans sent the students home happy in an emphatic 3-0 shutout win over Bowling Green.

“I am just happy for the guys, they played really well,” MSU head coach Damon Rensing said. “We talked about competing together tonight and they did a really good job of that. One of our focuses with a lot of new guys in the backline and in goal is that we want to get clean sheets. So we very glad to be able to get a shutout.

“Overall, we played against a very good Bowling Green team,” Rensing added. “They have been in the NCAA Tournament two of the last three years. They are a very spirited team, and they are really well coached. I have a lot of respect for them.”

It was the depth that provided the scoring spark for MSU, starting in the 31st minute with junior forward Efosa Emoyon, who after just being subbed on for the first time, finished a loose ball on a corner kick off the head of sophomore defender Josh Mason for his first goal as a Spartan.

MSU would have the luxury of playing the second half with a man advantage, as BGSU’s Anthony Hernandez was given a red card for a hard foul on MSU forward Richie Ludwig in the closing minutes of the first half.

MSU had a number of chances in the second half, but took a bit of time to eventually find the second goal it desperately needed to put the Falcons away.

In the 81st minute, substitute sophomore and Okemos High School graduate Jack Guggemos beat two defenders down the sideline, setting himself for a breakaway. As the goalkeeper drew closer, Guggemos passed it off to fellow sophomore forward Jake Spadafora, who scored to double the Spartans lead.

“(Guggemos) is my man, I’ve got chemistry with him,” Spadafora said. “He was my roommate last year and I am very thankful for him and to score. It felt great to get out here, we came out here knowing we had something to prove and we did today and we are very thankful for that opportunity.”

Freshman midfielder Colin Arce didn’t see the field until the 76th minute in Monday’s contest, but in the 85th minute, found the back of the net. BGSU’s goalkeeper punched away a Spartan corner kick attempt right to senior midfielder Jack Zugay.

Zugay ripped a shot from just outside of the 18-yard box that Arce intentionally deflected into the net, giving MSU an insurmountable cushion.

“We know we have a lot of guys that can help us, and I thought we really started well in the second half,” Rensing said. “That middle third of the game was teetering a bit, but then (Jack) Guggemos went out and made a play. He changed the game on that one individual moment and then really good to see a rookie get his first goal in (Colin) Arce.”

Sophomore goalkeeper and Holt High School graduate Zac Kelly made two saves – none bigger than his save in the 29th minute that kept it scoreless – as MSU recorded its first clean sheet of the season.

The Spartans are on the road for its next two contests – a Friday matchup with Army before traveling to Villanova next Monday. MSU will be back at home on Thursday, Sept. 7 where Dayton will await.

Contact Nathaniel Bott at [email protected] and follow him on X @Nathaniel_Bott

This article originally appeared on Lansing State Journal: MSU men’s soccer showcases depth in 3-0 shutout over Bowling Green


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