Nov. 17, 2013
EAST LANSING, Mich. - Michigan State fell to Connecticut, 3-1 on Sunday afternoon in the Second Round of the NCAA Tournament. The Spartans finish the season 14-10 overall, and closed out the season by going 6-1 in November, highlighted by a Big Ten Tournament Championship and trip to the Elite Eight in its first NCAA trip since 2010.
"I am really proud of what this team has accomplished this season," said head coach Helen Knull. "The self-belief, the relentless effort, the friendship and traditions have made memories that will last a life time. Our five seniors have been role model leaders and teammates. All of them will be sincerely missed, not just for their accomplishments on the field, but for who they are as people."
The Spartans, who earned the Big Ten's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament by virtue of winning the Big Ten Tournament title, were making their first NCAA Tournament appearance under Knull as a head coach, and first since 2010 when Knull was an assistant coach. MSU hosted a play-in round contest on Wednesday downing MAC champion Miami, 3-0. On Saturday, the Spartans pulled their largest upset of the season, defeating No. 2 and regional host Syracuse, 2-1; the victory snapped a 45-game home winning streak for the Orange. MSU's victory over Syracuse set up Sunday's regional final between MSU and Connecticut, which defeated Boston College on Saturday in overtime.
Connecticut jumped up 2-0 in the first half on goals in the 17th and 24th minute. Michigan State responded less than a minute later, closing the gap to one on Adelle Lever's seventh goal of the season. Heather Howie picked up the assist on the play.
Molly Cassidy faced a barrage of shots and made eight saves. The Huskies fired 19 shots in the game, including 11 on net.
MSU continued to battle throughout the second half, holding Connecticut's lead to just one. The Huskies tacked on an insurance goal in the 63rd minute to open up a two-goal lead and eliminate the chance of a Spartan comeback.