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Nov. 11, 1997

Spartans' Field Hockey Ends 11-10 for Season

(11-10, 3-7 Big Ten)
Head Coach:  Michele Madison (5th Year)
At MSU:  41-58-2  (5 years)
Overall:   94-87-8  (9 years)
SID Contact: Russ Ormiston
at Big Ten Tournament, Iowa City, Iowa
1st Round: Michigan State 3, Iowa 1
2nd Round: Penn State 2, Michigan State 1

CLOCK STRIKES MIDNIGHT: After an emotional 3-1 victory over Iowa, Penn State stopped Michigan State's Big Ten Championship hopes with a tight 2-1 win in the semifinals of the Big Ten Tournament held Nov. 7-9 in Iowa City, Iowa. Penn State went on to defeat Michigan in the finals, 2-1, to seize its third-consecutive Big Ten Tournament title. Spartans Melissa Pryor and Jill Lusher were named to Big Ten All-Tournament Team. Earlier in the week, Lusher, Pryor, Rayna Hiscox and Deirdre McLinden were named Second-Team All-Big Ten.

ONE FOR THE AGES: A 20-year drought against Iowa ended in the opening round of the tournament, as the fifth-seeded Spartans knocked off the fourth-seeded Hawkeyes, 3-1. It marked the first time in the 35 meetings of the two schools that MSU defeated Iowa, having lost 33 in a row. Michigan State broke the game open early, as Lusher laced a drive past Iowa net-minder Lisa Cellucci 4:40 into the contest to give MSU a 1-0 advantage. With the crowd still buzzing from the tournamentís first goal, the Spartansí Hiscox delivered, putting MSU up 2-0 just 42 seconds later. Hiscox scored her second of the game on a penalty corner midway through the second half to put the game away. The Hawkeyes scored late to spoil the shutout by Spartan goalkeeper Beth George, but Michigan State advanced with a 3-1 victory, its first tournament win since it was organized in 1994. It marked Iowaís seventh loss in 71 games at the Hawkeyeís Grant Field.

HEARTBREAK: Saturdayís semifinal proved to be a classic, as the top-seeded Lady Lions edged the Spartans, 2-1. Michigan State again jumped out to the early lead, as Hiscox again lit the lamp for the Spartans just 3:36 into the match, as she took a fine pass from Sofie Frankenhuis to find herself all alone in front of All-Big Ten goalkeeper Jamie Smith. Hiscox swept the ball around the pads of the sprawling netminder for her third goal of the tournament. Penn State tied it up with 25 seconds remaining in the first half, as PSUís Heather Gorlaski scored on a corner to knot the game at one. The Lady Lions kept the momentum for the first part of the second half, as Maegan Galie put Penn State up 2-1 10:34 into the second half. But the Spartans responded, peppering Smith with shots. But their efforts were denied, as Penn State held on for a 2-1 win.

THAT'S ALL FOLKS: The season comes to an end for the Spartan field hockey team, as it finishes with an 11-10 overall record and its first back-to-back winning seasons since 1980-81. Michigan State will say goodbye to seniors Hiscox, Lusher, Sarah Wilson, Ann Berberich and Jenny Darga. Hiscox finishes second all-time on MSUís career goal-scoring list (47), while Lusher finishes two spots behind her with 32. Hiscox (34), Wilson (26) and Lusher (20) leave holding the top three slots on the Spartansí career assist chart.

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