MSU women’s soccer battles, draws Dayton, 2-2

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EAST LANSING, MICH. – The Michigan State women’s soccer team was back in action at DeMartin Stadium to take on the Dayton Flyers on Sunday. After a 2-1 win on the road against the NC State Wolfpack, The Spartans and Flyers drew 2-2 in a game that featured many highs and lows.

The Spartans controlled the game early on in the first half, outshooting the Flyers 14-3, with four of those shots being on goal. Spartan senior forward Mackenzie Anthony and senior midfielder Justina Gaynor led MSU with three shots each in the first half. 

The Spartan offense also took advantage in the box, with six corner kicks in the first half. Their defense was spectacular early on, only allowing Dayton to have two shots on goal. Despite giving up 14 shots, the Flyer defense was also impressive with four saves that were made by sophomore goalkeeper Batoul Reda to keep the game scoreless after one half of play.

To begin the second half, MSU struck first with a goal by freshman forward/midfielder Bella Najera in the 51st minute that was assisted by senior forward Ranya Senhaji. This was Najera’s third goal of the season and her second straight game with a goal.

A foul in the 64th minute in the box made by MSU graduate student midfielder Celia Gaynor led to a Flyer penalty kick that was made by fifth-year defender Mackenzie Luntz to tie the game at 1-1 and give Luntz her first goal of the season. MSU would then respond back in the 78th minute on a free kick opportunity that was scored by senior forward MJ Andurus and assisted by Justina Gaynor to make it 2-1, Spartans. 

Dayton wouldn’t go away, though, as they struck back within 13 seconds with a goal on a free kick by senior midfielder Madison Wilson after a yellow card was given to MSU senior midfielder Regan Dalton for arguing with a referee.

Both the Spartans and the Flyers would have many opportunities to break the tie in the final 12 minutes of play with shots that missed on goal in late stretches of the game. MSU would finish the game with 21 shots, six of which were on goal while Dayton finished the game with nine shots, five of which were on goal. Najera led the Spartans with a goal and four shots, while Justina Gaynor also had an impressive effort for the Spartans recording an assist with four shots.

Despite the draw, the Spartans will leave this game feeling like they let too many chances get away from them that cost them the victory. 

“It’s a disappointing result to take, you create that many chances, you know frankly you score two goals in the game you should win. It doesn’t matter who you are playing against, I think we shot ourselves in the foot a lot,” said Spartan head coach Jeff Hosler.  

The Spartans will look to improve on the chances they missed during their seven days of rest before opening up Big Ten conference play against the Ohio State Buckeyes next Sunday at DeMartin Stadium.