Six was the magic number for the Michigan State men’s soccer team in their victory over the University of Illinois-Chicago Flames. The 2-0 win was the sixth time the Spartans shutout their opponent this season, and at the same time snapped the Flames’ six game winning streak. The Spartan improve their record to 6-1-1 while the Flames sit with a 6-3-0 record.
"We talked about being patient, but not casual," says Michigan State head coach Damon Rensing. "UIC is very good defensively and they are good at turning defense into offense. When they transition to offense, it can be dangerous. But I thought we moved the ball quickly, got it into our forward speed. I thought we kept patience. It was a good college soccer game which is to be expected from a good UIC team who was 6-2 and hadn't given up a goal in five games with a six-game winning streak. It's a great team win.
"I think while they're different teams, there are a lot of similarities to Northwestern. They don't give a lot of things up, they're very organized. We're going to have be patient again, but not casual with the ball. So I think it might transition very well from this game into Sunday's."
The Spartans were not casual, but in fact aggressive right from the start of the match. Tim Kreutz managed to record a shot on goal within the first minute of the game, but was saved by UIC Flame Andrew Putna. The Flames would answer right back and let the Spartan goalkeeper Zach Bennett notch his first save early on.
The first score came in the second half in the 56th minute of the game. Adam Montague earned his second goal of the season when he shot it pass Putna to give the Spartans the 1-0 lead.
In the 73rd minute, Dewey Lewis increased the lead with a shot from the top of the box off of a rebound from a corner kick. This was Lewis’ second goal of the season as well.
Zach Bennett was perfect in the goal for the Spartans once again. He notched seven saves for the game, earning his sixth shutout of the year. Bennett still sits atop the Big Ten Conference leaders in goals against average with 0.49 and save percentage with 0.897.
The next stop for the Spartans on their road trip will be in Evanston, Illinois to face the Northwestern Wildcats on Sunday October 6th.
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