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Michigan State Athletics | November 30, 2014

Michigan State ousts Washington in PKs

EAST LANSING, Mich. -- Third-seeded Michigan State edged No. 14 seed Washington in penalty kicks 4-3. The Spartans tied the Huskies 2-2 in double overtime, posting a record of 12-4-6 on the season and advancing to the quarterfinals of the NCAA tournament.

"We played like a real Michigan State team today," Michigan State head coach Damon Rensing said. "Right now, once you get done with today there are going to be eight teams left who think that they are the team of destiny. We can't really worry about that. This team has something that I am proud of, we have a winning mentality and I believe we are capable of doing it, but again there are eight teams that believe that as well. We will be back at again with the home field.

"The crowd was awesome today. The rowdies were very engaged. It was nice to see alumni come in from all over the state. It was nice to see Coach [Joe] Baum there today. That is special to win this game for them as well. Not just for these guys but are athletic department and university, and for our alumni."

In the first half, Washington began the offensive with two shots from Ian Lange in the first three minutes. Senior forward Tim Kreutz tallied the first chance for Michigan State, with a shot just wide from the left wing in the sixth minute.

In the 20th minute, senior defender Ryan Keener headed a ball off a corner kick from junior midfielder Jason Stacy, saved by Washington's Spencer Richey. Senior forward Adam Montague tallied another shot on goal for the Spartans in the 29th minute.

The teams battled to a scoreless draw at the end of the half. Michigan State totaled six shots and two saves from junior goalkeeper Zach Bennett, including an impressive tip just above the net. Washington tallied eight shots and four saves from Richey.

In the 66th minute, James Moberg tallied his second goal of the season from Darwin Jones to put the Huskies up 1-0. The Huskies followed up with a second goal in the 73rd minute, as Steven Wright nabbed his first goal of the season from Justin Smith.

Stacy and freshman Michael Marcantognini battled downfield for the Spartans, forcing an own goal from Washington in the 76th minute to bring the game to 2-1. In the 88th minute, Zach Carroll headed the ball across midfield. Montague volleyed the ball to Kreutz, who chested it in to score his fifth goal of the season, tying the game at 2-2 and send it into overtime.

"I thought once we got that first goal to bring it to 2-1 you could feel the momentum changing, and our guy's stay composed and kept going," Rensing said. "When you look at it, we could have given up, but we didn't. We stayed together and kept in the game. Obviously, it was a great play by Zach Carroll to play the header in to lead Timmy [Kreutz], who is a forward that scores goals.

"I give Timmy credit. He has been banged up all year and may not have had the year he wanted, but he came in and worked every day and I am happy to see him rewarded with that."

In the first overtime period, Kreutz, Montague and Stacy all tallied shots for the Spartans and Bennett nabbed one save to move into the second overtime period. MSU and Washington battled through 10 additional scoreless minutes, bringing the third-round match to penalty kicks.

Carroll and Stacy both netted their kicks before Washington missed their second attempt, as the Spartans went up 2-1. Montague captured the third attempt, which was matched by the Huskies for penalty kicks to go to 3-2, until Ben Myers missed the fourth attempt and Washington tied penalty kicks at 3-3. Fatai Alashe netted the fourth kick for the Spartans to advance on penalty kicks 4-3.

This is the second consecutive year for the team to advance to the NCAA quarterfinals, advancing as the only Big Ten team left in the tournament. With the tie, Michigan State remains undefeated against ranked top-25 opponents with a record of 2-0-5.

"Penalty kicks are the toughest thing in soccer, winning or losing on them," Rensing said. "But again it comes down to character. Our guys stepped up and our goalkeeper made a couple good guesses to fluster them, then our guys stepped up and stuck the ball in the net. That is what you have to do to advance. I'm very proud of our team and very proud of that we are able to represent the Big Ten further on into the elite eight."

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