The Michigan State Spartans spoiled the final home match for four Valparaiso University seniors, picking up a 2-0 win Sunday afternoon at Eastgate Field.
Tim Bowington (Odessa, Texas/Permian), Nate Hyde (South Bend, Ind./Clay), Nate Balfanz (East Peoria, Ill./East Peoria) and Jeff Oleck (Indianapolis, Ind./Cathedral) were honored for their career achievements in a halftime ceremony. As freshmen, Hyde, Balfanz and Oleck participated in the Mid-Con Tournament, and the four will return to the conference's premier event next weekend in Kansas City, Mo.
In Sunday's match, the Spartans got on the board in the first half when a Crusader hand ball in the box led to a penalty kick. Steve Doster beat Oleck and put Michigan State up in the 15th minute. Doug DeMartin put the game away in the 89th minute when he chipped home a Ryan Dick cross.
The Spartans outshot the Crusaders 22-10 including an 11-4 edge on goal. Oleck made nine saves in defeat, while Jason Tillman made four stops in recording his sixth shutout of the year for MSU.
Valpo's quest for their first Mid-Con Championship in nine years begins Friday, November 11 when they take on Oakland. The Crusaders handed the Golden Grizzlies their only conference loss of the season back on October 8, winning on the road 1-0.