The No. 6 Michigan State Spartans women’s soccer defeated No. 17 Ohio State on Thursday night by a final score of 1-0. The victory secured the 2022 Big Ten title for the Spartans, the first since 1994 and just the second in program history.
Michigan State earlier this week moved up to No. 6 in the rankings with just two games remaining in the regular season. After defeating Ohio State, the Spartans could have a chance to crack the top-5 heading into the Big Ten Tournament. MSU’s only loss of the season came at the hands of No. 9 Arkansas.
It is a massive turnaround for Michigan State, who finished 1-10-1 two seasons ago.
Spartans’ star striker Lauren DeBeau scored the lone goal for MSU this evening. Ohio State goalkeeper Molly Pritchard came out to challenge DeBeau, who tripped over both Pritchard and another OSU player. DeBeau ended up finding her feet quickly for an easy open net goal.
While DeBeau has undoubtedly been Michigan State’s MVP this season, this game was saved by MSU goalkeeper Lauren Kozal near the end of the half. This has certainly been a team effort.
MSU moves to 12-1-3 on the season with its sole loss to Arkansas. Last week, Michigan State defeated then-No. 5 Northwestern for possession of the Big Ten lead. The Wildcats are currently losing 2-1 to Iowa, but even a Northwestern victory couldn’t save the team’s season. MSU already holds the head-to-head tiebreaker.
The Spartans haven’t appeared in a College Cup since its first-round loss in extra session to Santa Clara in 2009.