Nov. 10, 2005
Freshman Doug DeMartin scored a 53rd minute goal to send Michigan State past rival Michigan in the opening quarterfinal of the 2005 Big Ten Men's Soccer Championship. After a takeover in the midfield, DeMartin took a perfect pass from Matt Kreikenmeir on the right side of the box in stride, took a touch toward goal and was able to beat Michigan goalkeeper Peter Dzubay for what would prove to be the game-winner.
The first half began with back and forth action as both teams spent time possessing the ball in their offensive ends, but the defensive lines held firm and did not give up many quality scoring opportunities. In the middle portion of the half, Michigan State had extended possession in the Michigan end, earning a corner kick opportunity. The Wolverines then countered and created a scoring opportunity of their own, but were not able to get a shot on goal.
State earned a second corner kick about 30 minutes into the game, but again Michigan was able to get the ball out of danger. From there the Spartans were able to control the ball for most of the remainder of the half. Kenzo Webster was able to take a through ball through the Michigan backline, but a sliding Dzubay came out hard to deflect the ball over the end line. MSU's ensuing corner kick was handled by the Wolverine defense.
In the 38th minute Michigan's Kevin Savitskie and Trai Blanks combined about 30 yards for the Wolverines' best scoring opportunity of the half, but Blanks shot sailed wide of the far post. Michigan's defense proved to be up to the task to preserve the 0-0 game into halftime.
Michigan had the first shot on goal of the second half when Ryan Sterba fired a low shot that goalkeeper Jason Tillman was able to save by diving to his right. On the same possession Michael Holody sent a ball across to Brian Poponey who hit a shot toward goal, only to have it blocked by a sliding defender.
U-M continued to control possession in their offensive third of the field. Another Michigan State counterattack opportunity was stifled by the last defender in the 57th minute when Ryan McMahen and Ben Pirmann combined on the left sideline.
The Spartans then took control of the ball. In the 63rd minute Zac Scaffidi was able to dribble his way through the Michigan defense, but the shot he earned was high.
Michigan's Tolu Olowolafe seemed to have a step on the defense with the ball just two minutes later, but an outstanding defensive play by Michigan State's Chris Dahlin kept the ball far out of danger.
Dzubay came up big for the Wolverines in the 72nd minute. A miscue put the ball in the box without a defender in sight, and Dzubay was forced to come off his line for the block, then continued his defense all the way to the far sideline to contain the ball against an MSU forward and play it over the touchline. After the throw in, Michigan State got the ball back to the middle of the field and put a shot on goal, which forced Dzubay to a diving save. He came up big again in the 75th minute, again coming off his line in a one on one situation in the box to preserve the one goal defecit.
One goal was all Michigan State would need to get by the Wolverines in the quarterfinals. The Spartans will now go on to face top-seeded Penn State in the first semifinal matchup of the tournament, Friday at 11:45 a.m. from Evanston.