Sept. 9, 2011
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EAST LANSING, Mich.- Continuing its marathon road stretch, the Michigan State field hockey team (0-4) travels to Oxford, Ohio this weekend to face No. 7 Virginia and host Miami. First up for the Spartans are the Cavaliers, who they will face on Saturday, Sept. 10th at 1 p.m. On Sunday, Sept. 11th, MSU will match up against host Miami at 2 p.m.
"Our season the last two years has been come to an end with a loss to Virginia in NCAA's, so everyone is ready for the fight and to compete," said head coach Helen Knull. "It's going to be a battle, and it's going to be a good game. The Redhawks have a new coach, so they will have a new look to them. It's going to be two good battles for us and we have to come out and play our game and play 70 minutes of hockey."
This past weekend, Michigan State took a trip to Boston to match up against Boston University and Northeastern. The Spartans fell to No. 13 BU by a score of 3-1. Freshman Allie Ahern had the score for the Green and White. MSU stumbled the next day as it was shut out by Northeastern, 5-0, the next day. Redshirt sophomore goaltender Molly Cassidy recorded a season- and career-high 14 saves against the Huskies.
Virginia owns a record of 2-2 this season, most recently falling to No. 12 Old Dominion by a score of 4-1. The Cavaliers posted dominating wins over VCU (8-1) and Towson (4-2). Virginia's second loss of the season came to Big Ten rival Penn State, 3-0. Leading the Cavaliers on offense is Elly Buckley, a sophomore forward, who has registered three goals and one assist.
Virginia has eliminated the Spartans in the NCAA tournament in the past two seasons. In the second round of the tournament in 2009, Virginia edged the Spartans with a 3-2 overtime loss. The following year, in 2010, the same exact scenario took place- Virginia eliminating MSU with a 3-2 overtime win - this time in the first round of the tournament. Virginia is coached by former MSU field hockey coach, Michelle Madison.
Looking at the Redhawks
Miami will enter Sunday's match with a record of 1-3. The Redhawks recorded their first victory of the season with a 3-0 win over Rutgers. The victory served as sophomore goaltender Sarah Mueller's ninth career shutout. On offense, the leading scorer for Miami is Olivia Miller, who has tallied two goals and one assist so far this season.
Junior midfielder Adelle Lever leads the defense with two defensive saves, both which she recorded this past weekend against Boston University and Northeastern. Redshirt senior Angie Lucik also tallied a defensive save against the Huskies.
Cassidy leads the Big Ten in saves per game with an average of 8.50 per contest. She also leads the conference in total saves, with 34 in four games.
Freshman Allie Ahern has been quite the contributor on offense in her first four games as a Spartan. The forward notched the only goal for the Spartans against Boston University. The tally tied the game up until BU was able to convert twice more to capture the victory. Ahern also scored the game-tying goal against California, sending the match into overtime. Ahern leads the Green in White in shots with 10, with seven of those being on goal.
Michigan State will head back out east to visit Providence, R.I. The Spartans face off against Maine at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 17th. On Sunday, Sept. 18th, Providence and MSU will match up at 2 p.m.