Field Hockey Begins Big Ten Matches
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
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.
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.
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
Big Ten Hot Shots
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
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
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.
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