EAST LANSING, Mich. — No. 16 Michigan State men’s soccer ended the regular season with a 1-1 tie against Drake Friday night at DeMartin Stadium on Senior Night.
With the tie, Michigan State stands 7-17 overall, breaking the school record for ties in a season. The previous record was six in the 2014 season. Drake now holds a 3-9-3 overall record.
“I thought we started great in the second half, we were in the red the whole 45 minutes,” MSU head coach Damon Rensing said. “Obviously, the only stretch we struggled was the last five to seven minutes in the first half. We had a 1-0 lead, we were keeping the ball, we were doing well. You can’t give up that goal to let it go 1-1. We gave them a little belief, but in the second half it was all us. They just set in. They were playing for a tie. They had a re-start or two, and we just couldn’t break ’em down. They were pretty good defensively.”
Senior forward Greyson Mercer made his presence known with five shots on the night. He finally broke through in 18th minute. After a Bulldog foul, sophomore defender Jeremy Sharp’s direct kick found the head of Mercer for his first goal of the season. The assist was the fifth of the season for Sharp, which leads the team. Ten different Spartans have now found the back of the net this season.
In the 41st minute, Drake took advantage of a MSU defensive breakdown. Inside the box, Dalton Visconti scored his first goal of the season off of passes from Eloge Iradukunda and Jackson Kirsch.
In the second half, Michigan State had control much of the half, out-shooting Drake, 8-3 in the final 45 minutes. In the 76th minute, sophomore forward Kyle Schueneman almost put MSU on top with a long-distance shot that went just wide.
The Spartans now await the conclusion of the Big Ten season. Michigan State currently stands tied for first with Northwestern and Penn State with 13 points. The Big Ten Tournament will be announced following the final four games on Sunday.
“I spoke last night at the senior dinner we had, which was great,” Rensing said of the Seniors. “I think to really appreciate these guys you gotta go back to what they’ve been through for four years. This school has been through a lot through four years. Whether it’s COVID and the pandemic, whether it’s last February and the…