Balanced Offense Powers Spartans in Exhibition
Aug. 23, 2014
"I saw the most selfless play from our forward line that I have seen in my entire time here at Michigan State," said head coach Helen Knull. "It was great seeing different people scoring and assisting and getting involved. We had great overlapping play and I'm pleased that we scored 10 goals."
Michigan State got off to a hot start in the first game of the day against Central Michigan by scoring four goals in the first ten minutes, leading to a 5-1 victory.
MSU dominated possession in the first half, outshooting the Chippewas 7-2. The lone shot on goal for CMU in the opening period got past Sierra Patton, and the Spartans took a 4-1 lead into the break.
Heather Howie tacked on a goal late in the second half off of a corner to extend the Michigan State lead to 5-1. Howie and senior forward Allie Ahern each recorded both a goal and an assist in the game. Kristin Matula, Abby Barker, and Becky Stiles also netted goals for the Spartans in their first exhibition game of the afternoon, while Jenni Smith recorded two assists.
Jenni Smith scored her second goal of the game to tie it up at three before Allie Ahern gave Michigan State the lead for good with eight minutes remaining. Abby Barker added an insurance goal with just over five minutes remaining to extend the lead to two.
"Our perseverance to come back and win a game when you're down is huge," said Knull. "The first half we came out slow and weren't sharp. We made some adjustments at the half in our press and had to gut out a victory. We wanted to see what they were made of. We talk about coming back with one goal at a time - and we did that today.?
Michigan State kicks off the regular season at home on Friday, Sept. 29 when it takes on Duke at 3 p.m. at Ralph Young Field.
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