Aug. 27, 2011
EAST LANSING, Mich. - The No. 13 Michigan State field hockey team fell to California, 4-3, in overtime in its season opener on Saturday. After answering Cal's 3-0 lead with three goals in the second half, the Golden Bears notched the game-winner with less than three minutes left in extra time off of a corner play. Redshirt junior Chelsy Coil, sophomore Kristen Henn and freshman Allie Ahern were the goal contributors for MSU.
"We went out strong in the second half. Coming out of half time we made some changes. Even though they got the quick goals, we didn't lose faith," said head coach Helen Knull. "We saw the momentum shift after Chelsy Coil scored and we fought back to get the game in overtime. As a young team it was great to see the commitment to stick with the game plan and I couldn't be prouder of them. The great thing about it is that we know what we can do, we can fight back. But, we have to go right from the first whistle and play Spartan hockey."
California's Jordan O'Reilly was able to get the Golden Bears on the board first after a shot to the left post. Roughly six minutes later at 8:51, Rachelle Comeau gave Cal a 2-0 lead after knocking a ball in after a scramble in front of the cage. O'Reilly wasted no time at the beginning of the second half, scoring her second tally of the night.
The Spartans were able to answer, and answered quickly. Coil scored not only the first goal of MSU's season, but the first goal of her career as a Spartan. She was able to knock the ball past goaltender Maddie Hand off of a rebound of freshman Heather Howie's shot. Less than two minutes later, Henn was able to score off of a penalty corner from senior Holly Sherman and sophomore Katherine Jamieson. Jamieson would then set up Ahern for her first goal in the Green and White, which tied up the game.
Time was winding down in overtime when Cal's Erin Magill connected on a penalty corner to secure the Golden Bears' first victory of the season. Goaltender Molly Cassidy tallied ten total saves in the match. The Spartans held a slight edge in corners, 7-5, over California, but the Golden Bears out shot the Spartans 14-12.
The Spartans are back in action tomorrow, Sunday Aug. 28th, taking on host Louisville at 6 p.m.