Oct. 4, 2013
EAST LANSING, Mich. - Michigan State defeated Indiana 4-3 on Friday afternoon to improve to 2-0 in the Big Ten and 5-6 overall. Junior forward Abby Barker recorded her first career hat trick and led the Spartans past the Hoosiers for their second straight Big Ten win to start conference play.
"Our goal is to execute our game plan and we did that again today," said head coach Helen Knull. "The biggest change for us is our mental and physical execution during games. Today it was great, the girls buckled down and stuck to the game plan and played collectively as a unit on the field, and that is what secured the win for us."
MSU got on the board first in the eighth minute on a long pass up the middle from Becky Stiles that found Allie Ahern. Ahern took one touch and got the ball to Barker in the circle, and she put it home and gave the Spartans the early lead.
After Indiana tied it up at 1-1, Michigan State regained the lead before halftime on Barker's second goal of the afternoon. Adrea Donaldson sent in a long cross-field pass from outside of the circle to the right of the cage; Barker dove in and got her stick on the ball and past Indiana goalie Maggie Olsen and into the bottom left of the net.
Michigan State then added two more goals, taking a 4-1 advantage on
three unanswered goals. Allie Ahern fired a shot from the top of the
circle that was saved by Olsen, but senior Adelle Lever was there to
put home the rebound. Five minutes later, Barker picked up the hat
trick when she got the ball on the run, dribbled into the circle,
put a move on the keeper, and finished on the open net.
"Abby does what she does best and that is score goals," said Knull. "She is someone who wants the ball whether we are up or down and wants to finish or set people up on the play, so I'm really happy to see her get the hat trick today."
Things tightened up when the Hoosiers scored twice within three minutes and cut the Spartan lead to one with 10 minutes remaining in the game. MSU cut off the Indiana offense there to hold on and take home the 4-3 win, and their second victory in the Big Ten.
Michigan State is back in action on Sunday when it travels to take on Miami (Ohio) at 1 p.m.