Aug. 19, 2005
EAST LANSING, Mich. - Michigan State field hockey will welcome Michigan Saturday, Aug. 20 as the two powerhouses face off in a pre-season exhibition game at 11 a.m., providing a glimpse of what is to come in the 2005 season.
The two rivals met twice last year, with the Spartans falling 1-0 in the first match-up in what would be their lone regular-season conference loss. The two crossed paths again in the NCAA Tournament with MSU enjoying sweet revenge in a 3-2 victory on Michigan's turf. The win earned Michigan State its second trip ever to the Final Four.
The Spartans, under the direction of 13th-year head coach Michele Madison, concluded the 2004 season with an overall record of 18-4. On top of a Final Four appearance, MSU claimed a share of its third Big Ten title.
Madison has high expectations for the 2005 season, returning 16 members of that championship squad, while adding four talented freshmen. "This team has a lot of experience; almost 10 players have won two Big Ten championships and have been to two Final Fours. They are unselfish, they work hard and they want to win" Madison stated.
When asked what Michigan State hoped to take away from the exhibition game, Madison commented, "This is a chance for us to see where we are in terms of line-up and to try some different things out. It is really an opportunity for both teams to help each other get ready to open up against some tough competition."
Michigan State will officially kick off the 2005 season on Saturday, Aug. 27 when it travels to Louisville, Ky., for the Champions Invitational, with the first game against Boston University. The Spartans will not see Michigan again until Oct. 6, with the two meeting in East Lansing.