Sjoberg's Header Lifts No. 17/13 Marquette Past Michigan St., 2-1

Redshirt freshman Axel Sjoberg has scored three times in the last two games, including two game-winners

Sept. 16, 2012

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EAST LANSING, Mich. - For the second time in as many games it was redshirt freshman Axel Sjoberg who netted to game-winning goal, lifting the No. 17/13 Marquette University men's soccer team a 2-1 double-overtime victory over Michigan State at DeMartin Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

The Golden Eagles (7-0-0) earned a corner kick with less than three minutes remaining in full time. Junior Bryan Ciesiulka served it in from the left side and found Sjoberg, who headed home the golden goal at the 107:25 mark.

It was the first overtime match of the season for MU, which has now won its last eight regular-season matches going back to last season, in addition to three straight road wins to open the 2012 campaign.

Sjoberg was also the hero in Marquette's previous game when he scored twice in the second half to help the Golden Eagles knock off Michigan at Valley Fields in the opening game of the BIG EAST/Big Ten Challenge on Friday night.

"His performance this weekend, on both sides of the ball, offesively and defensively, were some of the best that I've seen," said seventh-year head coach Louis Bennet, regarding the 6-foot-7 central defender. "We've got valuable weapons on set pieces; Axel has been the target of a lot of people with his height and determination to get to the ball."

Marquette went on the attack early against the Spartans (2-5-1), holding a 7-0 shot advantage 25 minutes into the match, which included a couple of quality chances both in the run of play and off corner kicks.

MU finally broke through in the 42nd minute to take a 1-0 lead going into halftime. Junior Paul Dillon served it into the box from the left channel and found senior Andy Huftalin on the near post. Huftalin's header was sent across the goal and inside the right post, past Michigan State goalkeeper Bryce Dobbins.

Huftalin has found the back of the net in three of the team's last four games, and his three goals on the season are tied with Sjoberg and junior Eric Pothast for the team lead.

Adam Montague equalized for Michigan State in the 63rd minute to level the match at 1-1. Montague beat a pair of Marquette defenders following a failed clearance by the Golden Eagles' backline and ripped a shot past Lyon top shelf.

Marquette had appeared to have some trouble organizing defensively in the second half, but a straight red card was given to Michigan State's Blake Skamiera in the 73trd minute that changed the complexion of the game.

Skamiera was sent off after he stepped on Dillon in front of the MU bench, and the Spartans had to play a man down the remainder of the contest. As a result, Michigan State was forced to pack it in defensively to some extent, instead of chasing the potential game-winning goal.

There were also four yellow cards also given in the match, including three Marquette players who were booked in the first half: John Pothast, Ryan Robb and Eric Pothast.

The Golden Eagles and BIG EAST Blue Division rival Notre Dame are the only teams in NCAA Division I that are currently 7-0-0 to start the season following the Fightin Irish's 1-0 double-overtime win over Michigan in the other half of today's BIG EAST/Big Ten Challenge. 

Marquette returns to action on Saturday, Sept. 22 for its BIG EAST Conference opener against DePaul. Kick off at Valley Fields is set for 7:05 p.m. Central time.

Marquette Starters: Lyon (GK), Dillon, Sjoberg, Lysak, Robb, Selvaggi, E. Pothast, Jansson, Hermsen, J. Pothast, Islami (Subs: Ciesiulka, Huftalin, Behm, Schillinger)




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