Oct. 22, 2013
EAST LANSING, Mich. - Michigan State field hockey defeated Central Michigan 1-0 on Tuesday afternoon to improve to 8-8 on the season, while Central Michigan falls to 5-9. Abby Barker scored the lone goal for the Spartans that proved to be all MSU would need to hold off the Chippewas in the midweek matchup.
Despite controlling possession and garnering most of the opportunities in the first half, the game remained tied at 0-0 going into the break.
It was much of the same in the second half until 15:22 remaining when MSU was capitalized on their fourth penalty corner of the game. Jenni Smith sent in the pass to Heather Howie who took a shot that was deflected in front by CMU goalie Sadie Reynolds. Abby Barker moved in from the corner to get into position to tap home the loose ball in front of the net for her 10th goal of the season, giving the Spartans a 1-0 lead.
"At halftime we talked about how we needed to pass the ball and work as a team because we were getting swarmed one on one," said Abby Barker. "We worked as a team around them, which allowed us to get some more corner opportunities."
Central nearly gained the equalizer with 12:04 remaining in the game. Molly Cassidy came out of the goal to
break up the Central attack, but CMU quickly regained possession with
Cassidy still on the ground. Chippewa forward Maureen Riley found
herself in front of the net with nobody to beat, but her shot went off
the post and was cleared by the Spartan defense. That would be as
close as the Chippewas would get for the remainder of the game, as MSU
continued to hold possession and the lead to earn their eighth win of
"We got the win, which is great, but we didn't execute how we have or how we should," said head coach Helen Knull. "For us, when you have 17 shots and seven corners, you should be executing at a higher level than we were. Their keeper made some great saves, but we weren't really getting the touches we wanted to in the circle. I think it was a matter of execution for us today."
Michigan State outshot Central 17-3, and held the edge in penalty corners 7-1.
"We didn't capitalize on a lot of our chances," said Heather Howie. "Eventually we got the goal. We played some good hockey and it wasn't our best, but at the end of the day, a win is a win."
Up next, Michigan State returns to conference action on Saturday when it welcomes Northwestern to East Lansing for a 1 p.m. matchup.