WATCH: Weekend Preview
EAST LANSING, Mich. - Michigan State (3-1) will take on two ranked teams this weekend at Ralph Young Field. On Friday, Sept. 7, MSU will take on No. 6 Virginia; followed by a match up against No. 14 Northeastern on Sunday, Sept. 9.
Michigan State competed in their first home contests last weekend. MSU topped No. 11 Stanford in a 2-1 win on Aug. 31 and Miami (Ohio) in a 1-0 shutout on Sept. 2.
In the game against Stanford, the Cardinal scored the first goal as MSU struggled in the first half as Stanford held a 1-0 lead at intermission. The Spartans rallied to come back from the deficit to score twice in the second half for a win. Katherine Jamieson and Heather Howie scored their first goals of the season.
In the match up against Miami (Ohio) Kristen Henn scored the only goal of the game as a result of a penalty corner. Jamieson inserted the ball to stopper Alli Helwig, and Henn buried the goal from the top of the circle.
Molly Cassidy tallied 17 saves over the weekend for the Spartans.
No. 6 Virginia has a 4-1 record going into this weekend's games. The Cavaliers most recently played Old Dominion, 5-4 win.
Paige Selenski leads Virginia with 10 goals and six assists for the season (26 points). Elly Buckley has tallied eight goals and four assists (20 points) for the Cavaliers. In goal for Virginia are Jenny Johnstone and Rebecca Holden. Johnstone has a 2.45 goals against average and a .529 save percentage, while Holden's stats are 2.49 and .571.
After two years (2009, 2010) of losing to Virginia in the NCAA tournament, the Spartans took revenge last season with a 3-0 shutout against then-No. 7 Virginia. The matchup was Cassidy's first shutout of the 2011 season. Abby Barker, Adelle Lever, and Elizabeth Helffrich all scored for Michigan State.
Virginia’s head coach Michelle Madison coached for Michigan State from 1993-2005, with an overall record of 155-116-2.
Looking at Northeastern
No. 14 Northeastern is currently undefeated, with a 3-0 record going into this weekend. They will take on No. 6 Virginia on Saturday prior to playing Michigan State on Sunday.
The Huskies most recently took on Dartmouth (Sept. 2) a 4-1 win.
Crystal Poland is Northeastern's leading scorer with six goals and one assist (13 points). Deirdre Duke, Lindsay Bennett, and Caroline Judge have each scored one goal for the Huskies. Lizzie Priest, Northeastern's goalkeeper, has a 1.75 goals against average and .826 save percentage.
Michigan State takes on Northeastern for the second year in a row. Last year the Spartans fell to the Huskies in a 5-0 loss. Cassidy finished the game with 12 saves.
Leading scorers for the Spartans include Abby Barker; scored two of three goals against Maine.
MSU Makes the Rank
The Michigan State field hockey team entered the 2012 Penn Monto/National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) Division I National Coaches Poll at No. 20 on Sept. 4, the first weekly rankings of the season.
The Spartans, who were unranked in the preseason, received 116 points in the voting for the poll. Michigan State was last ranked in the preseason poll of 2011 (No. 13).
Becky Stiles International Travel
Sophomore midfielder Becky Stiles has been selected as part of the United States U21 Junior National Field Hockey Squad that will compete in the Junior Pan American Games. The games will take place from Sept. 10-23 in Guadalajara, Mexico. Stiles is one of 18 athletes that make up the U21 squad.
Stiles will miss this weekend's Northeastern game, Sept. 9, due to her travel for Team USA. She will return to the field on Sept. 28 for the game against Indiana.
Big Ten Stats
Abby Barker ranks eighth in the Big Ten for shots with a total of 11 and 2.75 average per game. Michigan State has the least amount of goals scored against them, with only three so far this season.
Big Ten Player of the Week
Redshirt junior goalkeeper Molly Cassidy was named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week on Tuesday, Sept. 5.
Cassidy tallied 11 saves against Stanford on Aug. 31, a season high for herself as well as the Big Ten. Cassidy recorded her first shutout of the season against Miami (Ohio), 1-0 on Sunday, Sept. 2, recording six saves during the game. 1
Cassidy's current goals against average is 0.97 and she has a save percentage of .900.
Cassidy leads the Big Ten in saves this season (27), average saves per game (6.75), save percentage (.900), and goals against average (0.97).
This is Cassidy's fifth Defensive Player of the Week award during her career at Michigan State. She received her last Defensive Player of the Week on Oct. 18, 2011.
Home Game Stretch
The Spartans are currently in the middle of a seven-game homestand. Currently they are undefeated at home, 2-0, and on a three-game winning streak overall.
MSU on BTN
The Big Ten Network is scheduled to televise more field hockey games than ever before. Six games will be televised this season as well as the Big-Ten Tournament. Michigan State will appear during their game at the University of Michigan on Friday, Oct. 12, at 3 p.m.
The Michigan State vs. University of Virginia game will be streaming live on BTN2go.com and will air on the Big Ten Network at a later date.
The Spartans will host the Auto-Owners Insurance MSU Invitational tournament over the weekend of Sept. 14-16. The tournament will feature Central Michigan, Louisville, American, and Michigan State.
During the first round on Friday, Sept. 14, Central Michigan will take on Louisville at 4 p.m. Later in the day at 6 p.m., Michigan State will take on American. On Sunday, Sept. 16, the consolation round will begin at 11 a.m. and the finals at 1 p.m.