Sept. 20, 2012
East Lansing, Mich. -The No. 15 Michigan State field hockey team begins Big Ten play Friday, Sept. 21 against No. 13 Iowa followed by a matchup on the road against No. 19 Duke on Saturday, Sept. 23. MSU enters the weekend with a 5-3 record.
Reflections on Last Weekend
MSU was named the Auto-Owners Insurance Spartan Invitational Champions after two wins this past weekend. The Spartans defeated American in the semifinals on Sept. 14, (3-2), and downed Louisville in the championship round on Sept. 16, 2-1 in OT.
In the matchup against American, Heather Howie was first to put points on the scoreboard with a goal off a corner midway through the first half. The second half started with three goals within five minutes. The first goal was completed by Abby Barker at 37:42, her fifth goal of the season. Howie then scored her second goal of the game at 40:15. The Spartans led by three when American recorded their first goal in the 42nd minute. With three minutes left on the clock, American netted the ball off a corner play to close the margin, 3-2. MSU’s defense held off seven of eight shots attempted by American in the final 20 minutes. Molly Cassidy tallied six saves, five in the second period.
Against Louisville, Barker’s unassisted goal in the ninth minute of overtime led the Spartans to victory. MSU’s first goal of the day came from a corner that was shot by Jessica Lindner and deflected into the net by Barker. The Cardinals tied the score in the 45th minute. At 9:53 of overtime, Barker obtained control of the ball after a foul; she then dribbled into the circle and netted the ball from eight yards out. Cassidy recorded two saves.
No. 13 Iowa serves as MSU’s first Big Ten opponent. The Hawkeyes enter the weekend with a 5-2 record and a three-game winning streak. Most recently they recorded a 2-1 win over Albany (Sept. 16).
Kelsey Mitchell, Jessica Barnett, Dani Hemeon, and Audrey Coleman lead the Hawkeyes with four goals each. Mitchell has also assisted on two goals (10 points). The Hawkeyes goalkeeper Kathleen McGraw has a 1.54 goals against average and a .738 save percentage. She also ranks first in the Big Ten for shutouts this season, three.
Midfielder Geena Lesiak leads the Big Ten in assists per game (0.86) and the single-game high of assists, three against Missouri State.
MSU last beat Iowa in 2010 with a 1-0 shutout; Molly Cassidy tallied three saves in the matchup. Last year the game ended with a win for Iowa, 2-0.
No. 19 Duke enters the weekend with a record of 3-5. The Blue Devils will take on North Carolina on Friday prior to playing the Spartans. Last weekend, Duke won against Richmond, 2-1 (Sept. 14), before falling to Old Dominion, 3-1 (Sept. 16).
Duke’s leading scorer is junior Emmie Le Merchand with four goals and one assist (nine points). Jessica Buttinger and Devon Gagliardi have each tallied three goals and one assist (seven points). In goal for the Blue Devils are Lauren Blazing and Ashley Camano. Blazing owns a 2.32 goals against average and a .625 save percentage, while Camano’s stats are 2.49 and .529.
This will be the ninth meeting between Michigan State and Duke, with Duke leading the series 5-3. Their most recent meeting was a 1-0 win for the Spartans in 2010. Kristen Henn scored the lone Spartan goal and Cassidy recorded 10 saves.
Molly Cassidy has tallied 55 saves this season with a .833 save percentage and 1.70 goals against average.
MSU Jumps in Rankings
Michigan State moved up to No. 15 in the 2012 Penn Monto/National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) Division I National Coaches Poll on Sept. 18. The Spartans were ranked No. 19 last week.
Big Ten Hot Shots
Sophomore forward Abby Barker ranks fourth in the Big Ten in goals (seven), an average of 0.88 per game. The forward also ranks sixth in points (14) and eighth in shots (25).
Heather Howie ranks fourth in the Big Ten in game-winning goals (2).
Sophomore midfielder Alli Helwig ranks second in the Big Ten in defensive saves with two. Hewlig recorded the saves against Virginia and Northeastern.
Redshirt junior goalkeeper Molly Cassidy holds the number one spot in the Big Ten in saves (55), saves per game (6.88) and most saves in a game (12 vs. Northeastern). Cassidy ranks second in save percentage at .833.
Cassidy was also named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week on Sept. 4, her sixth Defensive Player of the Week award at Michigan State.
Becky Stiles International Travel
Sophomore midfielder Becky Stiles has been selected as part of the United States U21 Junior National Field Hockey Squad and is currently competing in the Junior Pan American Games. The event runs through Sept. 23 in Guadalajara, Mexico. Stiles is one of 18 athletes that make up the U21 squad. The U.S. is currently 4-2 in the competition.
Stiles will return to the field on Friday, Sept. 28 for the matchup against Indiana. Stiles will miss a total of five games for the tournament.
MSU Coaching Staff
Helen Knull is in her second season as head coach and her seventh season on the coaching staff at MSU. Knull served as an assistant and associate head coach at Kent State 2003-2005 after she competed for the Golden Flashes as a four-year starter. She was named All-American in 2001 and 2002, and was team captain in 2002.
Molly Maloney enters her fifth year as an assistant coach, and she works extensively with the team’s goalkeepers. Maloney served as the graduate assistant coach at Central Michigan University before coming to Michigan State. Maloney was a four-year letterwinner at Michigan and helped the team to the 2001 NCAA Championship. She holds the record at Michigan for most shut outs in a season, nine.
This is the second year for Shawn Hindy as an assistant coach at Michigan State. He was formerly head coach at Leighton Area High School (2006-2010) and the US Women’s National Indoor Team (2007-2010). Hindy also was a member of the US Men’s National Team from 1995-2007 and three-time Male United States Field Hockey Player of the Year (2000, 2002, 2004). Hindy still partakes in field hockey as a member of the Men’s National Indoor Team.
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 its game at the University of Michigan on Friday, Oct. 12, at 3 p.m.
Michigan State hosts Indiana on Friday, Sept. 28, at 3 p.m., then host their only Monday game on Oct. 1 at noon against Pacific.