No. 19 Spartans Host Miami and BU This Weekend
Aug. 30, 2007
EAST LANSING, Mich. - he Spartans face Miami (OH) on Friday, which was a 6-0 winner in the road opener against Longwood. The RedHawks also had a game cancelled due to lighting against Old Dominion. Sunday, the Spartans face 2-0 Boston University squad, which pounded Quinnipiac 8-1 and beat No. 17 Providence on Tuesday, 2-1.
Week in Review
The Michigan State field hockey team started the week ranked No. 19 in the STX/NFHCA Preseason Poll. The team hosted the Champions Invitational Tournament last weekend, and captured the tournament title with a 2-0 record. Saturday the Spartans faced No. 14 Louisville and came away with a 4-1 victory. They completed the weekend with a thrilling 3-2 overtime victory over Ohio, who had upset No.4 Duke on Satuday, 2-1.
Spartans-Louisville Game Recap
It was Louisville which jumped out of the gate with the first goal as Allison Maffitt took a feed from Missy Briery to take an early 1-0 lead in the contest's second minute. It did not take long for the Spartans to get the equalizer. A corner by Charlotte van der Laag was sent to Amy Schneider, who then set the table for Jeamie Deacon's first goal at the 4:08 mark. Late in the half it was again Van der Laag and Schneider setting up a goal, this time by Geraldine Raynor, putting Michigan State up 2-1 with just six seconds left to play in the first half. The lead was stretched to 3-1 with Becky Manning's first goal of the season at 44:55, set up by junior Gwen Riley. Deacon capped the scoring and put the game out of reach with a final tally at the 55:17 mark.
Spartans-Ohio Game Recap
The Spartans opened the scoring by executing a beautiful two-on-one break at 11:14. Freshman Amanda Huck sent the final pass across to Gwen Riley, who finished the goal for the early 1-0 advantage. The Bobcats evened the score at 16:35 as Torrie Albini took a shot that hit the goal post, she followed up on her own rebound for Ohio's first goal. The top returning Michigan State scorer from 2006, sophomore Floor Rijpma, tallied her first goal of the season in the 58th minute to make it 2-1. Ohio fought back to make it a 2-2 game at 61:10 as Katelyn Shelley struck for the Bobcats, a goal that sent the game to overtime. Senior Becky Manning got the game winner when she sent the ball from the corner into play, causing a scramble in front and a rebound. Manning who found the loose ball to the right of the goalkeeper and slammed it home for the 3-2 overtime win.
Miami RedHawks Scouting Report
The RedHawks started the season with a 6-0 shutout win over Longwood on Saturday. Mary Hall (So., San Diego, Calif.) and Courtney Furia (Sr., Los Gatos, Calif.) each scored two goals in the victory for Miami. Miami also faced No. 6 Old Dominion on Sunday and was looking for an upset, holding a 1-0 lead with 19:33 remaining. Lighting storms came in and interrupted play for four hours, eventually causing the contest to be cancelled. The game cannot be counted and the teams will start from scratch when they play in a make-up game later this season.
vs. Miami - The Last Time They Met
The teams have met on 14 occassions, with the Spartans going 9-4-1 against the RedHawks, but have not faced off since the 2001 season. In that game, Bridget Cooper, Cynthia Martin and Maureen Halstead each scored for MSU as the team never trailed in the contest. Lisa Mitchell also added two assists for the Spartans in the 3-2 victory. MSU was also ranked No. 19 in the country in 2001 when they last faced the RedHawks.
No. 20 Boston University Terriers Scouting Report
The Terriers started their season ranked just behind the Spartans at No. 20 in the STX/NFHCA Preseason Poll. BU posted a dominating 8-1 victory over Quinnipiac on Saturday in its season opener. The Terriers scored the first seven goals of the game, as seniors Sarah Shute and Pam Spuehler combined for five goals and four assists on the day. In its second game against No. 17 Providence on Tuesday, the team snuck away with a 2-1 victory. Gabby Hajjar scored at the 66:55 mark, her second goal of the season, to put BU up for good in the game. Spuehler set up that goal after scoring the game's opening tally. She now leads the team with three goals and three assists in just two games for the Terriers. Her classmate Shute ranks just behind her wtih three goals and two assists on the young season.
vs. BU - The Last Time They Met
The Spartans and Terriers met for the first and only time in the 2005 Champions Invitational Tournament that was hosted by Louisville. Then a sophomore, Sarah Shute put up a hat trick for BU, but it was not enough in a 4-3 overtime win for Michigan State. MSU came from behind in the contest, down 3-2 with less than seven minutes to play. Jessica Miller scored off a corner at 63:13 and then Maggie Giddens scored in overtime as the Spartans came away with the win.
Lighting Up the Board
MSU leads all Big Ten teams with seven goals through two games of play. Last season the Spartans finished sixth out of seven field hockey programs in the conference with a 1.95 goals per game average. The team last led the league in that category in 2002 and 2003, capturing the Big Ten Tournament title in both years.
Another Year Under the Belt
The Michigan State field hockey team welcomed three new coaches and six new players last season who return for the 2007 campaign. The extra year of experience should help the team to a strong season, especially if coach van de Kerkhof's history as an assistant is any indication. The team improved its record in each of his first four seasons with the Spartans, going from 9-11 mark in 1999 to 23-3 record and Final Four appreance in 2002.
From the Field to the Sideline
Michigan State also welcomes two four-year letterwinners who step off the team roster and onto the staff as student assistants for the 2007 season. Ashley Pernicano was last year's team MVP, leading scorer with 27 points and was named a second team All-Region and All-Big Ten selection. Ashley Smeltzer competed in 17 games last season, scoring two goals and two assists on the year.
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