Aug. 17, 2012
EAST LANSING, Mich. -- -The Michigan State field hockey team will travel to the University of Michigan for their first game of the season this weekend to play in an exhibition game. The Spartans will play on August 18 in Ann Arbor at 1 p.m.
Looking at the Wolverines
The Saturday game will serve as the first exhibition game for the University of Michigan as well as Michigan State. The Wolverines were Big Ten Champions last year and played in the Elite Eight. However, they lost many players from their backfield. Michigan does have returnees who were high scorers last season.
Exhibition Preseason Game
The MSU field hockey team will have had ten days of preseason practices before the exhibition game. During the preseason they have been covering team objectives, set plays, and tactical plans. During the exhibition they will be able to see what they have accomplished and what they need to work on.
"I think it is an opportunity to see our progress, things to work on and what we can continue doing," said head coach Helen Knull. "It is a time for the 23 players to come together and compete as a unit rather than playing each other."
MSU Field Hockey Returnees
With 17 returning players who played the full 2011-2012 season and two players who received playing experience this spring the field hockey team has more experience than last season. Molly Cassidy, goalkeeper, returns to the field after starting in all 20 games last season. Abby Barker and Allie Ahern both return as leading scorers. Corey Block returns as a redshirted senior, with four years of experience and minutes on the field, she returns at her position in back. Kristen Henn returns after a medical redshirt sidelined her in 2011. In 2010 Henn was named All Big Ten and Regional All American. Adelle Lever returns to midfield where she has played every game of her career at MSU.
New Fresh Faces
Mallory Tyler, Sierra Patton, Adrea Donaldson, and Victoria Radwell join the team this season. Tyler, Patton, and Radwell were on campus for Summer Session II, helping the transition into preseason. Although Donaldson was not able to make it here early she and fellow teammate Michelle Graham are from the same hometown. Currently the four are learning the system and how the team works. They are becoming aware of the expectations of them from both the coaching staff and their teammates.
Expectations this Season
"The team goal is to win a Big Ten Championship and make it back to the NCAA tournament," said Knull. "We vs. me is our mindset. I want us to be a selfless group who works hard for the Spartan standing next to them as well as those who came before them. We want to strive for excellence on the field, in the classroom, and always representing MSU field hockey and the institution with pride."
MSU travels to Maine next weekend to play Boston College on August 24 and Maine on August 26. MSU has won twice and tied once against Boston College. This is their first game since coach Knull has been here. The green and white has a 3-2 record with Maine. Visit msuspartans.com for updates on your favorite teams.