Kozal Earns Seventh Shutout of the Season in Scoreless Draw with Iowa

EAST LANSING, Mich. – Senior goalkeeper Lauren Kozal hauled in a quintet of saves, and the Michigan State women’s soccer team recorded its seventh shutout of the 2022 season in a scoreless draw with the Iowa Hawkeyes on Thursday night at DeMartin Stadium.

MSU opens Big Ten play undefeated through two games for the first time since the adjusted 2020-21 spring season, climbing to 6-1-3 overall with a 1-0-1 ledger against conference foes. Iowa holds steady with a 3-4-3 record through 10 contests and owns an 0-1-1 B1G mark. The Spartans have allowed only four goals from opponents this year, the fewest scores yielded by an MSU back line in a 10-game span since the school sponsored women’s soccer in 1986.

Iowa won the battles in both shots (10-7) and shots on goal (5-4), but Michigan State owned the margin in corner kicks 2-1. In one of the most physical contests of the season, both teams combined for 27 fouls split between 14 for MSU and 13 for Iowa, with the teams combining for a trio of yellow cards in the game. Senior forward Lauren DeBeau led the way in every offensive statistic for the Green & White, amassing four shots with all four on target in a 90-minute outing.

A defensive back-and-forth affair began after Evans kicked things off, with Iowa attempting only two shots through the first 20 minutes of work. Kozal booked her first save of the contest in only the sixth minute of the game and snagged another Iowa shot in the 33rd to keep things level. The Spartan offense saw a couple of solid chances in the opening 45, highlighted by a magnificent shot from DeBeau flying down the righthand side of the field. Her right-footed attempt coasted towards the bottom left corner of the net, but a spectacular save from Iowa’s keeper kept the sheet clean to finish the half.

Intensity was the name of the game throughout the second half, as both squads turned up the physicality early on. The Green & White did a stronger job of managing the possession battle after the break, but neither MSU nor Iowa could muster any serious scoring opportunities. As the half wore on, counterattacking chances began to present themselves, with Iowa finding the first real threat of the period in the 70th minute. The Hawkeyes’ offensive charge resulted in a solid shot on goal, but Kozal stood in the way to keep the game even.

Michigan State responded with a ferocious attack on the other end less than two minutes later, as DeBeau found in a one-on-herself one with the keeper. Traffic quickly increased around the net, however, and the senior’s shot ultimately careened into Iowa’s control. The Hawkeyes roared back moments later, registering yet another shot on target that was miraculously corralled by Kozal.

Kozal played the full 90 minutes in goal for Michigan State, tallying five saves and coming away with the tying decision. Iowa senior Monica Wilhelm also went full time, hauling in four saves on all four attempts from DeBeau.

Head Coach Jeff Hosler
On his thoughts following Thursday’s draw …

“We have to match physicality better. That’s two matches in a row now in Big Ten play where we haven’t been our best in the first half. We were so incredible during our non-conference portion, particularly that Arkansas match, of playing aggressively and bringing the physicality. We have flat out failed to do that in the first of two games now. That has put us behind the 8-ball. Iowa came here with a really good game plan. I thought we scouted it pretty well. We have to do a better job coaching to get our players to both understand their decisions and make better decisions within the gameplan. “


Michigan State women’s soccer remains on the Banks of the Red Cedar on Sunday, Sept. 25, as the Spartans play host to the Purdue Boilermakers in a 1 pm kick at DeMartin Stadium on Old College Field.


Visit MSUSpartans.com for more information on Michigan State women’s soccer. Fans can keep up to date with the Spartan women’s soccer team on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter by following @MSU_WSoccer.

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