Photo by Pat Radigan
7′ – NU – Huber (5)
51′ – NU – Own Goal
72′ – NU – Brandt (3)
Story by Pat Radigan
Nebraska strikes early and often in shutout win over MSU
It took just seven minutes for the Huskers to open the scoring, before a pair of second-half scores sealed a 3-0 win over Michigan State on Friday night in East Lansing.
Elyse Huber didn’t take long to make an impact, when her 7th-minute shot soared past the Spartan keeper and in for the early edge. Nebraska’s pressure continued after the break, eventually forcing an own goal to double the lead, and set the stage for a late strike by Meg Brandt for the final touches on an impressive first win in Big Ten play.
Nebraska started the game by trying to play the ball in over the top of the Michigan State defense, and that pressure opened up an alley for Huber. After receiving a pass in the midfield circle, Huber turned upfield, ran past a defender and eventually found a few feet of space as she dribbled into the MSU penalty area. Huber flicked a shot toward the far post and past the diving keeper to find the side netting, which gave Nebraska its first lead of conference play.
The Huskers would keep the pressure amped up throughout the first half, finishing with 11 shots and 4 corner kicks, but it wouldn’t be until the second half that NU added to its lead.
Although she’d have to wait until later for her actual goal, it was Brandt who forced the Spartans into conceding an own goal in the 51st minute. Brandt saved a ball from going out of bounds on the left wing, turned it inside and worked her way into the penalty area. A sidestep allowed Brandt to shake the first defender, before the sophomore forward flicked an attempted cross past a sliding keeper.
Instead of finding a teammate, Brandt’s cross was deflected into the net by the outstretched leg of a defender to make it 2-0 with 39:13 left on the clock.
The final goal came almost 20 minutes later, when a Michaela Loebel shot bounced off the bar and forced a scramble in the box. It was Brandt who got the first touch as the ball bounced backward, but it got away from her and rolled toward the MSU keeper. Nebraska’s Alexis Rienks was nearby, and was able to slide and get enough of a touch to deflect the ball back into Brandt’s path.
Brandt cooly slotted her shot between two defenders, and erased any hope of a Michigan State comeback in the process.
Next up for Nebraska is the second game of a weekend trip to Michigan, when the Huskers will travel to Ann Arbor for a 1 p.m. matchup on Sunday with the Wolverines.