Oakland takes on MSU in spring soccer

Matthew Dudley tied up the game from a free kick.

As part of the Michigan Cup Series, Oakland and Michigan State played to a 1-1 draw at the Oakland Athletic Dome Saturday afternoon in the fourth of six scheduled spring games.

The match against the Spartans was the team’s second in the Michigan Cup, which is comprised of the University of Michigan, Detroit Mercy, Western Michigan, Michigan State, Saginaw Valley State and Oakland. The teams play two matches each and then a championship game will be played April 11.

Oakland headed into Saturday’s match 1-0 in the Michigan Cup as they defeated Saginaw Valley, 4-2 March 14. This was Michigan State’s first match in the Michigan Cup and they will play Saginaw Valley this coming week.

The Spartans got on the board early in the first half, but the Golden Grizzlies were able to tie it on a free kick from junior forward Matthew Dudley shortly after. No goals were scored for the rest of the match, but both teams showed intensity throughout.

“I thought we showed good character to come back from a goal down that we didn’t deserve to be after the way we started the game,” Dudley said. “I was proud of the way our team played overall today and managed to stay disciplined in a heated game.”

The two teams have a lot of recent history as this was their third meeting in the past six months. Oakland defeated the Spartans, who were ranked tenth in the country at the time, 2-0 at the Oakland Soccer Field Oct. 22. The teams would then meet in the NCAA tournament as Michigan State ended the Golden Grizzlies’ season with a 1-0 victory at DeMartin Stadium in East Lansing.

“I think a game between Oakland and Michigan State is always going to be an intense game; obviously there were a lot of emotions in this game,” men’s soccer head coach, Eric Pogue, said. “To be fair I don’t think there were a ton of chances either way so I think it was pretty even both ways.”

Seeding will be determined after all of the Michigan Cup matches are completed before the April 11 championship at the Ultimate Soccer Arenas in Pontiac. The first tiebreaker is head to head, the second is goal differential and the last is goals scored.     

The Golden Grizzlies will face off against Bowling Green at the Oakland Bubble this Friday night in an exhibition match.