The Rutgers men's soccer team began Big Ten play against Michigan State at Yurcak Field on Busch campus yesterday. The Scarlet Knights (2-3-2, 0-0-1) scored in the final second of play to earn a 1-1 draw with the Spartans (4-0-2, 0-0-1).
The game started very even, as both sides had a fair share of possession and looked to create scoring opportunities.
As the first half went on, the momentum would swing toward Rutgers. In the 26th minute, graduate student midfielder Jackson Temple had the Knights' best chance of the first half, as his shot attempt hit the right post.
Going into halftime, the game would remain scoreless despite the Knights leading 9-4 in shots.
Similarly to the first half, the second half would start even between both sides. Sophomore forward Ian Abbey's shot attempt forced Kelly into another save early in the second half.
The Spartans would score the 1st goal of the game in the 67th minute. Jeremy Sharp swung the ball into the box, where sophomore goalkeeper Ciaran Dalton punched away the header, but Will Eby headed the rebound into the goal to open the scoring.
Following the goal, Temple would continue creating scoring chances, but senior forward Ola Maeland was unable to put his shot attempts on target. Rutgers' closest chance came in the 78th minute when graduate student defender Chris Tiao crossed the ball into the box to Maeland, who headed the ball over the crossbar.
In a game that featured many scoring opportunities for the Knights, they would not score until the final second. With time winding down, Dalton entered the box in the hope of a last-gasp goal. A cross was put in that resulted in a scramble in front of Michigan State's goal. Freshman defender Nick Collins was able to get his head on the ball, and his header found Temple, who blasted his shot into the bottom left corner to level the game.
Following the game, Temple spoke on his exciting last-second goal.
"I was lucky that (the ball) bounced in front of me, and I just tried to make good contact," Temple said.
Rutgers will look to continue its positive form when the team travels to take on Michigan on Friday. Kick-off is scheduled for 7 p.m. and will be broadcast on Big Ten Plus.
"The guys really felt we were going to score," said head coach Jim McElderry. "I just think they started to believe that they were good enough to win this game."
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