BOWLING GREEN, Ohio – Domenic Barone scored with under 14 minutes remaining in the second half, lifting Michigan State University to a 2-1 win over the Bowling Green State University men's soccer team Wednesday night (Aug. 29). The non-conference match was held at Cochrane Field on the BGSU campus.
With the win, the Spartans improve to 1-1-1 on the young season. The Falcons are now 1-1-0.
Fifth-year senior Zach Lemke scored the Falcons' goal with just over 11 minutes gone in the second half. Lemke's goal tied the match at 1-1 after MSU had taken the lead with only eight seconds remaining in the first half on Adam Montague's header.
Bryce Dobbins made two saves for the Spartans, while BGSU junior Michael Wiest had five stops in his complete-match effort for the Falcons.
The first half saw the teams combine for a total of eight shot attempts, and the eighth shot of the half put the Spartans ahead. Barone and Ryan Thelen combined on a give-and-go play, with Thelen's return pass giving Barone the ball on the left side of the penalty area. Barone played a short centering pass in the air, and Montague was able to leap and head the ball home inside the near post.
Despite giving up a goal so late in the half, the Falcons regrouped and responded with a goal in the 57th minute. Senior Chris McLean took a pass from junior Anthony Grant on the left side of the pitch, deep in the MSU end.
McLean played a ball to Lemke, who was entering the 18-yard box. Lemke took a touch, then fired a shot that deflected off of a Spartan defender and into the left corner of the net. Dobbins, leaning to his left, had no chance to stop the shot after the deflection, and the Falcons had knotted the score. McLean and Grant drew assists on the play.
But, the Spartans got another goal on a header, as Barone nodded home Luke Norman's cross at the 76:29 mark for what would prove to be the winning goal.
The Falcons nearly responded right away, as junior Ryan Comiskey blasted a shot from the right side of the six-yard box, only 20 seconds after the goal. Dobbins parried the shot, then grabbed the ball as it bounced behind him a few yards from the goalmouth.
BG continued to put pressure on the MSU defense, as the Falcons had four corner kicks and several close calls in the final 10 minutes. One of those chances came with 3:16 left, when Comiskey slid a low cross just behind Grant in the center of the box.
The Brown and Orange continued to mount the attack, and the home team had the ball in the MSU penalty area as the final seconds ticked off the clock. But, BGSU could not get off a potential game-tying shot in those final moments, and the Spartans hung on for the victory.
The Spartans had an 11-8 advantage in total shot attempts, including a 7-3 margin in shots on goal. Lemke had two of the Falcons' three shots on frame, including his first goal of the season, while sophomore Danny Baraldi also fired a pair of shot attempts vs. the Green and White.
Wiest's five saves included an acrobatic leap to punch away a blast by Barone in the first 10 minutes of the match, as well as a save on a point-blank shot by Tim Kreutz at the near post after a BGSU miscommunication in the back end midway through the second half.
BGSU is home again on Saturday night (Sept. 1), taking on Marshall University in a 7:00 p.m. start at Cochrane Field.