Oct. 5, 1997

MSU Topples Michigan in Overtime Field Hockey Thriller

EAST LANSING, Mich. -- Senior Rayna Hiscox found redemption as she scored the game-winner 10:29 into overtime, as Michigan State topped No. 16 Michigan, 3-2, at Spartan Stadium.

Midway through overtime, Hiscox sprinted past the Wolverine defense for a breakaway with U-M goaltender Amy Helber. Helber came out of the net and collided with Hiscox, who was awarded a penalty stroke. With one of the biggest field hockey crowds ever at Spartan Stadium deafeningly quiet, Helber dove to her right and made a stick save of Hiscox's attempt, as the game stayed knotted at two.

Just over a minute later, Hiscox took a pass from Sarah Wilson and outsprinted the Michigan defense for another breakaway on the Wolverine netminder. But this time, Hiscox sidestepped the sprawling Helber eight yards out and rolled in the game-winner.

"I was nervous (on the penalty stroke), and I'm never nervous on a shot. It was my normal shot, but it wasnit fast enough. It got me angry and I really wanted to score," said Hiscox, who also made a masterful defensive save in the MSU net to keep the Wolverines at bay in overtime. She now leads the team with 11 goals and 27 points.

The victory ups MSU's record to 9-3, 2-1 in the Big Ten. Michigan falls to 10-3, 2-1. The Spartans have won five of their last six, all at home, and are now 2-0 in overtime games this season.

"We had a tough week and they showed up today with a quiet confidence. They had one thing on their mind - winning this game," stated MSU Head Coach Michele Madison.

Overshadowed by the game-winning goal by Hiscox is the continued strong play by Michigan Stateis junior goalkeeper Beth George. The Big Ten leader in save percentage came up big in overtime, making two key saves to keep the game tied. George allowed a U-M goal on Michigan's first shot of the game, a deflection off the stick of Meredith Weinstein. But after the Wolverines' Julie Flachs put a penalty stroke past her midway through the first half, George put the clamps on Michigan's offense, not allowing another goal, despite ten Michigan penalty corners during the contest.

Sandwiched between U-M's two first half goals was a score by MSU senior Jill Lusher, who had six goals in MSU's 6-0 victory over St. Louis on Friday. Lusheris tally, her eighth of the season, put the score at 2-1 at halftime.

"We knew we could come back. We just had to fight through and win it," said Lusher.

The contest stayed 2-1 in the second half, as a midfield defensive struggle ensued. MSU's Sarah Wilson finally captured the elusive tying goal with 23 minutes left in regulation, as she took a pass from Sofie Frankenhuis and beat Helber for her first goal of the season. The goal capped off a solid performance by Wilson, who also notched her eighth assist of the season and her team-leading fifth defensive save during the outing.

"Michigan's our biggest rival and we wanted to win. We didn't get it done in regulation, so we came out and did it in overtime," stated Hiscox.

MSU returns to action next weekend, as they travel to Penn State (Oct. 10) and Ohio State (10/12) for a pair of conference matchups.

MICHIGAN STATE 1   1   1   --  3
MICHIGAN        2   0   0   --  2
Scoring
First Half:
UM - Meredith Weinstein (Loveita Wilkinson) 32:00
MSU - Jill Lusher (Sofie Frankenhuis) 21:39
UM - Julie Flachs (penalty stroke) 20:00
Second Half:
MSU - Sarah Wilson (Sofie Frankenhuis) 22:53
Overtime:
MSU - Rayna Hiscox (Sarah Wilson) 4:31 Shots
Michigan State: 9
Michigan: 15 Saves
Michigan State:
Beth George - 6
Michigan:
Amy Helber - 5 Records
Michigan State: 9-3, 2-1
Michigan: 10-3, 2-1