Sept. 14, 2012
EAST LANSING, Mich. - The No. 19 Michigan State field hockey team topped American University, 3-2, on Friday, Sept. 14 in the day's second semifinal of the Auto-Owners Insurance Spartan Invitational. Heather Howie tallied two goals for the Spartans while Abby Barker scored her fifth goal of the season. Molly Cassidy recorded six saves for MSU, which will now face Louisville in the championship game on Sunday afternoon.
"Overall, we held on and kept the win," said head coach Helen Knull. "I would have liked to see us more dominant in the end. We can't settle when we are up or down, American kept pushing through when we held a 3-0 lead."
MSU snapped a two-game skid with the victory, and improved to 4-3 on the season overall.
Howie scored the first goal of the game, her second of the season, at 16:12 off a corner. Jenni Smith inserted the ball to Howie, who then made a direct shot to the back of the net. It was the only goal of the first half.
The Spartans scored twice in the early minutes of the second half to increase their lead to 3-0. Barker scored in the 37th minute to give MSU the 2-0 advantage. Jenni Smith's shot on goal was saved by Ashley Dalisera, and Barker redirected the rebound for a goal. Three minutes later, Howie netted her second of the game with a drive from the right side of the circle after receiving a pass from Alli Helwig.
Down 3-0, Shelly Montgomery scored the first Eagle goal in the 42nd minute. At 66:52, American's Keelin Winslow scored off a corner with an assist from Montgomery.
Cassidy made six saves for Michigan State.
The Green and White tallied five penalty corners, while the Eagles had 13.
Earlier in the day, Elisa Garcia, Becca Maddock, and Alyssa Voelmle scored for University of Louisville in double-overtime to boost them past Central Michigan, 3-2.
The Spartans will take on Louisville at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 16 in the tournament final. American and Central Michigan will face off in the consolation game at 11 a.m.