DeBeau Books Spartans’ Second-Straight Hat Trick, MSU Routs Illinois in B1G Opener

CHAMPAGNE, Ill.— senior forward Lauren DeBeau Michigan State secured its second straight hat trick, and the Spartan women’s soccer team drove a dominant second half to a 3-0 win over the Illinois Fighting Illini to open Sunday’s Big Ten game at Demirjian Park.

DeBeau’s offensive outburst follows another Spartan hat-trick from the graduated forward Camryn Evans on September 11 in the 4-2 excitement of then-No. 19 Colorado in East Lansing. The result marks the first time in the program’s history that two different Spartan players have scored three goals in consecutive games. According to available records, DeBeau’s hat trick in 11:02 elapsed game time is the fastest in Michigan State history.

The Spartans’ Open Conference is going unbeaten for the third straight year and has had victories in their Big Ten opener in both of the head coach’s seasons Jeff Hoeslertenure. MSU rises to 6-1-2 for the year while Illinois falls to 5-3-1 with a 0-1 ledger in Big Ten action. The Green & White recorded their fourth win over the Illinois in series history, dating back to the 1997 season, and their first win over Illinois since September 20, 2002.

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On the box score, the Spartans produced a commanding 18-12 edge on shots with an 11-4 differential on shots on target. MSU did a great job pressuring Illini’s backline, culminating in a 7-1 lead from corner kicks in the afternoon. Leading in every statistical category, DeBeau attempted a total of six shots, all of which were on target, in addition to her three goals. Senior Defender Raegan Coxqualified midfielder Celia Gaynorjunior midfielder Justina Gaynor and senior midfielder Zivana Labovic everyone took home an assist.

MSU maintained a solid offense early in the game, giving up limited scoring chances for Illinois while applying serious pressure on offense. The Spartans attempted eight shots in the first 45, five of them on target, but the Illini keeper managed to hold the goalless tie until the break. The 22nd and 34th minutes saw some high-speed counterattack opportunities with Evans and the new midfielder Courtney Koehler creating a few chances to score in the net, to no avail.

The Spartans came out of the break with a vengeance and dominated every facet of the game in the first minute of the second half. DeBeau opened up the offensive floodgates in the 48th minute when he got up Celia Gaynors Pass from around 35 meters drove towards the penalty area. DeBeau spun off her defender, received the pass, and worked his way into a one-on-one with the keeper that resulted in the icebreaker.

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Less than five minutes passed before DeBeau sent in the brace as Cox charged down the right side of the field and served up a prime dish about eight yards from the net. DeBeau caught the ball with her right foot before it landed, sailing a shot to the bottom left corner of the goal.

The green-whites recorded their third and final result on DeBeau’s right shoe, as Justina Gaynor and Labovic worked the ball with two crisp feeds from the far left of the field to the center of the box on the right. DeBeau chipped the ball over the keeper’s glove from 13 yards out and into the top center of the net. MSU played for possession the rest of the game, preventing Illini’s offense to make it 3-0.

Senior Lauren Kosal tended to score for the Spartans and played all of Sunday’s contest, nabbing four saves and earning their sixth shutout of the 2022 season. Kozal also took home the winning decision, her second straight win and sixth-place finish of the year. For Illinois, Julia Cili stood guard over the net for 90 minutes, saving seven shots against three goals while accepting defeat.

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48′ – Celia Gaynor sent DeBeau a deft feed from about 35 yards, and DeBeau veered away from her defender and dribbled her way into a one-on-one situation against the keeper. Her right-footed shot from nine yards hit the icebreaker in the bottom center of the net. MSU 1, ILL 0

52′ – Cox stormed into the right side of the field and delivered a precise pass about eight yards from goal. DeBeau hit the ball in midair with her right foot and placed it in the bottom left corner of the net. MSU 2, ILL 0

59′ – Justina Gaynor opened the offensive on the left side of the field and carried the ball to Labovic, whose pass was hurled by a horde of Illini at a waiting DeBeau. The senior completed his hat-trick by flicking the ball over the goalkeeper’s outstretched glove from around 13 yards into the top center of the goal. MSU 3, ILL 0


Michigan State women’s soccer returns to the friendly confines of DeMartin Stadium on Thursday, September 22, when the Spartans welcome the Iowa Hawkeyes to a 7 p.m. kick at Old College Field.


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

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