Michigan State took advantage of a Penn State mistake in the second half and the fifth-seeded Spartans bounced the fourth-seeded Nittany Lions 1-0 in a Big Ten Men’s Soccer Tournament quarterfinal matchup at Jeffrey Field on Sunday.
Tim Kreutz scored in the 54th minute as Michigan State (11-4-4) advanced to the semifinals to face top-seeded Maryland (12-5-2) on Friday in College Park. Penn State (12-5-1) dropped its fourth straight Big Ten Tournament game, dating back to the 2011 title clash.
“I think both teams had game plans to try to stop the other,” Penn State coach Bob Warming said. “The big factor to me is that both teams were just tired. ... I don’t think we had a lot of juice today.”
After a scoreless first half, the Spartans capitalized on a PSU miscue. Adam Montague played a right-winged cross into the penalty area that was touched away by a Penn State defender, but the ball went to Kreutz, who one-timed the volley to the lower left corner past Nittany Lion goalie Andrew Wolverton.
Penn State outshot Michigan State 12-8, including 7-3 in the second half.
In the 66th minute, Mason Klerks played a long ball from midfield over the Michigan State defense to a running Connor Maloney, but Maloney’s chance was wide right as he was met by Spartan goalie Zach Bennett.
In the 84th minute, Maloney had another chance. Brandon Savino sent a cross from the left wing, but Maloney’s open header went high. Savino later would then get a chance from 20 yards out but his shot was high.
Wolverton had two saves, while Bennett notched three.
Penn State will wait to find out its NCAA Tournament opponent when the selection committee reveals the 48-team bracket at noon on Nov. 17.