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Huskers Out-Duel Spartans In Big Ten Soccer Opener

Freshman Jaycie Johnson scored the lone goal in the 12th minute as the Huskers open their conference schedule with a big win over Michigan State and improve their record to 5-2-1.


First Half

The match kicked off at 2:09 p.m. under rainy weather.  Just 1:41 into the match the ref blew a whistle to stop the match after flashes of lightning were spotted around the field.  Play resumed at 2:45 after a 34 minute rain delay. Despite the wet conditions, the soccer field still appeared to be in good shape. Michigan State had an early chance on cross by Spartans midfielder Nicole Caruso floated just over the bar.  However the Huskers struck first in the 12th minute.  Jaycie Johnson made a beautiful run through midfield before playing a quick one-two pass with Jordan Jackson before striking a low shot into the bottom left corner from just inside the 18 yard box. It was already Johnson’s six goal of the season as a freshman.  Huskers began to dominate the possession after the opening goal with a lot of short, quick passes on a slick playing surface.  In the 20th minute, Spartans leading goal scorer Alison Krause received a through but the quick forward put the shot way wide.  The Huskers countered a few minutes later when Jordan Jackson set up Mayme Conroy with a cross but her header went just wide of the right post.  Jaycie Johnson came close to scoring another goal in the 33rd minute when she lashed a shot just wide of the right post.  The weather started to clear up a bit as the game went to halftime with the Huskers leading 1-0.

Second Half

The sun began to shine on the field as the second half got underway and the Huskers got off to a bright start.  The Huskers controlled most of the ball early in the half.  After a scramble in the penalty area, Jordan Jackson came away with it and floated a shot wide in the 50th minute.  Michigan State countered a few minutes later when a shot by Kirsten Evans was tipped over the net by Emma Stevens.  Mayme Conroy had a chance to double the lead for the Huskers in the 59th minute but her break on goal was snuffed out by Spartan midfielder Kelsey Mullen. The Huskers continue to put pressure on the Spartans in the 63rd minute.  Stacy Bartels put a through ball for Jordan Jackson but Spartan keeper Courtney Clem was able to cut down the angle and block the shot.  In the 70th minute the Huskers produced another good scoring chance when a Sydney Miramontez cross was flicked on by Stacy Bartels and Jaycie Johnson booted it over the bar.  That was shortly followed up by a Bartels shot that was tipped over the net by Courtney Clem. Bartels had another scoring chance in the 78th minute when she floated a shot on net after a nice through ball by Jordan Jackson but it was handled well by the keeper. The Huskers were able to retain possession for most of the second half and win their opening Big Ten match 1-0 over Michigan State.

Post-Game Notes

-The wet soccer field really helped out the Huskers as they were really able to execute their game plan and dominate possession in the second half.  Nebraska has 13 shots (5 on target) compared to just 6 shots (3 on target) for Michigan State.

-Freshman Jaycie Johnson will cause a lot of fits for Big Ten teams this season. She has scored six games in eight matches and has no plans of slowing down.  Johnson’s pace and technical ability is phenomenal to go along with her really powerful shot.

-Senior Jordan Jackson has really adapted well to the playmaking role.  After receiving a medical redshirt last season due to a season-ending injury, Jackson did an excellent job of creating scoring chances for Jaycie Johnson, Mayme Conroy and Stacy Bartels in today’s match.

Here are a couple tweets to give you an idea of how bad the weather was at the match.

The Huskers improve their season record to 5-2-1.  Their next Husker soccer match is Sunday at 1:00 p.m when the team takes on #14 Denver.  The first 100 students at the match will get a free t-shirt.