Spring Field Hockey Roundup
April 24, 2006
EAST LANSING, Mich. - Michigan State field hockey concluded its spring season last week, ending play with a 5-2-1 record. As part of its spring season, teams were allowed a total of five competition days with other universities. A total of seven teams, including MSU, Northwestern, Michigan, Central Michigan, Ohio, Ohio State and Miami (Ohio), competed in the T2D Spring League, with the Spartans finishing as runners-up.
The Green and White finished pool play with five wins and just one loss (1-0, to Ohio) and one tie (1-1, with Ohio State), to advance to the championship game of the spring league. Facing Big Ten rival Ohio State in the final game, the Spartans rallied from a 2-0 deficit and knotted the game at two goals a piece, on scores by Gwen Riley and Ashley Smeltzer, but the Buckeyes tallied a late goal with just 3:46 remaining and edged MSU 3-2.
The field hockey program recently held its annual banquet on Saturday, April 15. The Spartans concluded the 2005 campaign with an overall record of 12-8 and a Big Ten record of 3-4 and were ranked 18th in the final National Field Hockey Coaches' Association Poll. State posted three shutouts on the season, including back-to-back blankings of Pacific (2-0, Sept. 3) and Stanford (3-0, Sept. 5), as well as a 3-0 win over Central Michigan on Oct. 13. In perhaps the Spartans' biggest win of the year, the Green and White upset then No. 8 Ohio State, 3-2, in East Lansing on Oct. 29. A week later in a hard fought battle, MSU fell to the Buckeyes, 1-0, in round one of the Big Ten Tournament.
Senior goal keeper Christina Kirkaldy was named as the team's MVP. A four-year starter, Kirkaldy added Second-Team All-America, Second-Team All-Big Ten and Big Ten All-Tournament team to her already extensive list of honors this season.
One of only three First-Team All-Americans in school history as well as a unanimous First-Team All-Big Ten Team honoree, senior forward Michelle Huynh-Ba was named as Offensive Player of the Year. A catalyst in the Spartan backfield, senior Breanna Harpstead was named Defensive Player of the Year.
Finishing second on the team in goals (8) and points (20), while leading Michigan State in shots taken with 57, Inge Kaars Sijpestijn was named Rookie of the Year. Junior Maggie Giddens was recognized as Most Improved Player and classmate Becky Bolen received the Spirit Award. Serving as one of the four members of the Spartan leadership group in 2005, senior Jessica Miller was the recipient of the Leadership Award.
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