Nov. 11, 2004
ANN ARBOR, MICHIGAN - Cold temperatures and a fierce wind in the air set the stage for the opening match of the 2004 Big Ten Conference Men's Soccer Tournament on Thursday (Nov. 11). The weather didn't seem to affect Michigan State however, after the fifth seed defeated the fourth seed Wisconsin, 1-0.
With the win, Michigan State advance to the tournament semifinals on Friday (Nov. 12) to play the top seeded Indiana Hoosiers and improve its record to 10-6-1 on the season. Wisconsin ends their season with nine wins against 10 losses.
The Spartans struck first with 22:56 off the clock in the opening half. A free kick was awarded to Michigan State just outside and to the left of the goal box. Junior midfielder Ryan McMahen sent a shot curving towards the goal where Steve Doster was waiting. The junior midfielder headed it into the net just to the left of Badger goalkeeper Eric Hanson to put MSU up 1-0.
Two more scoring opportunities in the first half were thwarted by Hanson on good shots let off by the Spartans. The match would go into the half with MSU still holding the 1-0 lead and the advantage in shots with eight compared to the Badgers six.
Physical play marked much of the second d half of the first round contest. The two teams had an equal number of opportunities in the second stanza with both teams at four shots a piece. In the end, Wisconsin was unable to put one past MSU goalie Jason Tillman. The sophomore recorded his fourth shut out of the season to give the Spartans the 1-0 victory.