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Michigan State women’s soccer holds on to defeat Milwaukee in first round of NCAA Tournament

The Spartans clawed back to win in double overtime.

Marvin Hall - The Only Colors

The Michigan State women's soccer team took on Milwaukee at home for the the program’s first ever chance to host an NCAA Tournament game.

It took two overtime periods, but the Spartans defeated the Panthers by a final score of 3-2 in an intense matchup.

Michigan State came out strong at first. Controlling the ball almost entirely in the first few minutes exclusively in its offensive half. Shockingly, on a scrambled defensive play, Milwaukee found the back of the net first just six minutes into the game.

MSU went on to continue to dominate almost all possession, but struggled to find a goal even with multiple corner kick opportunities.

The Spartans went into halftime down by one goal after many attempts to equalize the score in the first half.

At the start of the second half, junior midfielder Justina Gaynor finally put the ball in the net to tie the game up.

Throughout the entire game, the Spartans heavily outweighed their opponents in scoring opportunities. At the 65-minute mark, MSU led Milwaukee by a shot margin of 20-4.

After a steady few minutes of tied play, graduate senior midfielder Celia Gaynor (sister to previous scorer Justina Gaynor) netted a header into the back right corner, bringing the Spartans up by one goal.

As the game seemed to slowly begin to wind down in the Spartans’ favor, Milwaukee received a free kick within in scoring distance. With 20 seconds to play the Panthers tied the game up off their free kick and sent the game into overtime.

After 100 minutes of play, the score remained tie. Coming in the 105th minute, however, graduate senior forward Camryn Evans sunk the ball into the net easily off of a beautiful offensive drive.

Michigan State women’s soccer ended the double overtime game on top and will advance to the second round of the NCAA Women’s Soccer Tournament. The win at DeMartin Soccer Stadium tonight makes this the third time in history that this program has advanced to the second round.

The Spartans will play the TCU Horned Frogs in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.