Sept. 4, 2003
East Lansing, Mich. -
Scouting the Competition - North Carolina: The Spartans take on North Carolina Saturday at 1:30 to open the Temple Invitational in Philadelphia, Pa. The Tar Heels opened the season by shutting out Michigan, 4-0 in Ann Arbor in the first game of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. Head coach Karen Shelton has led UNC to a 360-101-9 record in her 22 seasons at the helm for the Tar Heels. UNC went 9-11 in 2002, 3-1 in the ACC. They finished the '02 season, falling to Maryland in the national semifinals, 3-2 in overtime. In three face-offs between the two programs, the Spartans are 0-3-0 against the Tar Heels. The first meeting of the two teams dates back to Sept. 15, 1984 when North Carolina won, 5-0 at the Temple Invitational. The second meeting came came in 14 years later in 1998 when then-No. 4 UNC defeated MSU, 1-0 at the Temple Invite. The teams squared off again the following season with UNC coming out on top by a score of 5-2.
Tar Heels To Watch: Katy Potter Kerry Falgowski Rachel Dawson Carey Fetting-Smith
Temple: The Spartans are 1-2 all-time against the Owls. Temple opened the season with two victories, both by a score of 2-1. The first win came over Davidson on Aug. 30 while the second straight win came Sept. 1 over Maine. The Owls and Spartans have not met since Sept. 13, 1998 when Temple won 1-0 in the Temple Invitational.
Providence: The Spartans are 2-2-0 all-time against the Providence Friars. The Friars finished with an 8-12 overall record last season, finishing fifth in the Big East Conference. They return just four starters from last year's team, losing seven to graduation.
Friars To Watch: Stefanie Suenholz (All-Big East Second Team, 2002)
Coaching Connection: Spartan head coach Michele Madison, in her 11th year at the helm of the MSU field hockey program, spent four years at Temple prior to moving to East Lansing. While in Philadelphia, Madison was instrumental in beginning the Temple Invitational.
Kirkaldy Big Ten POW: Redshirt sophomore Christina Kirkaldy has earned Big Ten Co-Defensive Player of the Week honors for the period ending Aug. 31, the Big Ten office announced. Kirkaldy recorded the seventh shutout of her career en route to leading the Spartans to a 2-0 victory over Kent State in the regular-season opener. The win marks the Spartans' eighth-straight regular-season win, dating back to Oct. 6, 2002. This week's co-defensive player of the week honor marks the third time in her career that Kirkaldy has earned the weekly honor from the conference office.
The Spartans are now 16-12-4 in opening their season. Head coach Michele Madison is 8-3 in opening games at Michigan State.