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Michigan State women’s soccer takes down No. 5 Northwestern to gain Big Ten lead

Michigan State is on pace to begin the Big Ten Tournament at the top of the standings.

Marvin Hall/The Only Colors

The No. 15-ranked Michigan State women’s soccer team continued its roll on Sunday by taking down No. 5 Northwestern. The victory also puts MSU in the sole lead of the Big Ten.

Both of Michigan State’s goals were scored in the first half.

Graduate defender Sam White put the Spartans on the board during the 13th minute. White’s goal from distance was her first of the season and second of her career. Her last came in September of 2021 against Oakland.

During the 21st minute, graduate midfielder Celia Gaynor scored on a feed from graduate defender Ruby Diodati to put Michigan State up 2-0. Gaynor’s goal was also the first of the season for her.

Northwestern’s only goal came on a penalty kick from Rowan Lapi during the 55th minute. Michigan State went on to win by a final score of 2-1.

MSU’s victory puts the team atop the Big Ten standings with two games remaining. In the most recent United Soccer Coaches Poll, Michigan State became ranked for the first time since 2009. The team polled in at No. 15. This win should surely give MSU a jump in the rankings.

Other highlights to the season include beating No. 6 Penn State on the road and taking down in-state rival Michigan for the first time since 2018.

The Michigan State women’s soccer team currently has an overall record of 12-1-3 on the 2022 season and is undefeated in Big Ten Conference play at 7-0-1 (tying with Iowa).

On Thursday, Michigan State will take on No. 20 Ohio State. The Buckeyes defeated Illinois on Sunday in a 6-1 rout. It will be MSU’s final road game of the season. The Spartans will wrap up the regular season against No. 8 Rutgers next Sunday (Oct. 23).