29 Aug Women’s Soccer Hosts Florida Atlantic Monday Afternoon
EAST LANSING, Mich. – Michigan State women’s soccer is back at DeMartin Stadium on Monday, Aug. 30 in an afternoon matchup with Florida Atlantic. The Spartans will share the field with the men’s team, who play Akron following the conclusion of the women’s 3 p.m. game.
LAST TIME OUT
The Spartans sealed their third-straight victory and first road win of the season on Thursday, August 26 in a 1-0 shutout of Central Michigan. It was the first road win for MSU in a draught dating back to September 15, 2019 against Oakland.
Strong defense from both sides prevented any scoring in the first half of play. Lauren Kozal protected the net with two saves, while Central Michigan had one save on a shot on goal from Lauren DeBeau.
Five minutes into the second half, Ava Cook ended the scoring stalemate. Mya Fregoli brought the ball across midfield to DeBeau, who set up Cook at the left side of the box for a clear shot into the top right corner of Central Michigan’s net.
Holding at 1-0, the Spartans outshot the Chippewas, 16-12, with Cook leading having totaled a season-high seven shots. DeBeau and Gia Wahlberg had two shots each. The shutout went to Kozal, her third of the season.
Goalkeeper Lauren Kozal has played the full 90 minutes of the first three contests this season in the net. She is currently one of just two other goalies in the Big Ten to record three shutouts so far this fall, joining Minnesota’s Megan Plaschke and Indiana’s Jamie Gerstenberg.
The offense has been diverse so far this season, with seven different Spartans having recorded a goal. Ava Cook stands above the rest with two goals scored, adding an assist for a team-best five points. Similarly with assists, all eight have come from different players. Cook, DeBeau, Jordyn Wickes, Zivana Labovic and Danielle Stephan each have both scored a goal and tallied an assist.
Cook currently leads the league in shot attempts with 16 so far this fall, averaging 5.33 shots per game. She also holds the most game-winning goals scored of any Big Ten player with two and is in a tie for the second-most shots on goal with six.
QUOTING COACH HOSLER
Reflecting on last Thursday’s game: “Going on the road can be a tough task but we found the ability to come away with another win despite not playing our best soccer. Training has been good and I’m looking forward to a continued response toward growth this week.”
Scouting the competition: “We will have our hands full Monday afternoon. FAU is fresh off a great run this spring in Conference USA and has a balanced approach. They have dangerous individual talent on the attack and can be hard to score on. We need to continue to establish a variety of ways to score.”
SCOUTING FLORIDA ATLANTIC
Monday’s game is a historical first meeting between the Michigan State women’s soccer team and Florida Atlantic. The Owls, who are a member of Conference USA, return a total of 22 players to their fall 2021 team including all 11 starters. They wrapped up 2020 with a 5-4-2 record and were predicted to lead the C-USA East Division this season. They are coached by Patrick Baker, in his ninth season at the helm.
MSU plays again at home on Thursday, Sept. 2, continuing its nonconference schedule with a matchup against Bowling Green. They then head out on back-to-back road games at Oakland and Dayton before the start of Big Ten play on Sept. 19 against Indiana.
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