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No. 19 Field Hockey Prepares for a Pair of Weekend Games

Michigan State faced Michigan in an exhibition game Aug. 18.

Oct. 11, 2012

Watch: Preview

EAST LANSING, Mich. -The No. 19 Michigan State field hockey team travels to face rival No. 16 Michigan on Friday Oct. 12 at 3 p.m., and Kent State, Oct. 14 at 12 p.m.  MSU's match against the Wolverines will be televised on the Big Ten Network. 

Reflections on Last Weekend
The Spartans recorded two shutouts this past weekend:  MSU defeated both Ohio State and Ohio University by 1-0 scores.  The Spartans improved to 8-6 overall and 2-1 in the Big Ten with the wins. 

Sophomore Allie Ahern netted the game-winning goal three minutes into the contest against Ohio State.  Mallory Tyler assisted on the goal with a pass across the circle.  Sophomore Michelle Graham notched her first career defensive save, and redshirt junior Molly Cassidy recorded three saves to help the Spartans shut out Ohio State.   

In the game against Ohio, Ahern scored the only goal of the game three minutes into overtime.  Ahern scored from 10 yards out after a pass from Abby Barker.  Cassidy tallied two saves in the second shutout of the weekend. 

Watching the Wolverines
No. 16 Michigan enters the weekend 7-5 overall and 0-2 in the Big Ten.  The Wolverines fell to Northwestern last weekend, 4-1.

Rachael Mack leads Michigan with 12 goals and three assists (27 points).  Leslie Smith and Aisling Naughton have each scored five goals for the Wolverines; Smith has also tallied six assists (16 points) while Naughton has three (13 points).  In goal for Michigan is Haley Jones with a .773 save percentage and a 1.79 GAA. 

The Wolverines Leslie Smith is tied for first in the Big Ten in defensive saves (4).  Jones ranks second behind Molly Cassidy in saves (68), saves per game (5.67), and save percentage (.773). 

Michigan State is 23-36-7 all-time against Michigan.  The Spartans last defeated the Wolverines in 2009, 2-1.  Last year, UM came away with a 2-0 victory in East Lansing, where Cassidy made nine saves.

Keeping up with Kent State
Kent State suffered two losses this past weekend against Miami (Ohio), 4-1, and Northwestern, 8-0.  The Golden Flashes now hold a record of 5-10 overall, and 4-3 at home. 

Julia Hoffman has scored 10 goals this season and notched one assist (21 points).  Rebecca Lee has tallied five goals and three assists (13 points) for the Golden Flashes.  Abrina Binder leads the team in assists (11) and has also scored one goal (13 points).  In the cage is Jordan Jahna, with a save percentage of .637 and GAA of 4.66. 

The Spartans lead the Golden Flashes in the series,  19-7-1.  Last year, MSU picked up a win in overtime, 2-1.  Becky Stiles and Elizabeth Helffrich scored for Michigan State while Molly Cassidy recorded three saves.

Scoring Spartans
Forward Abby Barker has recorded 11 goals this season and three assists (25 points).   Forwards Heather Howie and Allie Ahern have scored four goals and one assist (nine points).  Ahern scored three of the last four Spartan goals.   Goalkeeper Molly Cassidy owns a .822 save percentage and 1.33 GAA.

MSU in Rankings
Michigan State climbed to No. 19 in the 2012 Penn Monto/National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) Division I National Coaches Poll on Oct. 9.  The Spartans were ranked No. 20 last week.

On The Road Again
The Spartans continue their series of six consecutive road games this weekend when they travel to Ann Arbor and Kent, Ohio.  The team will then travel to Northwestern (Oct. 19) and Central Michigan (Oct. 21) before returning to East Lansing for the final regular-season game against Penn State on Oct. 27.

What's Trending
This season MSU has kept it even in the first and second halves with 10 goals each and two in overtime. 

Six of the eight Spartan wins have been won by one goal. 

The Spartans have scored first in seven of their eight wins.  The only game where the Spartans didn't score first and had a win was against Stanford on Aug. 31.  MSU scored first in two losses. 
Spartan Shutouts
Michigan State has recorded four shutouts this season.  MSU ties for first in the Big Ten in that category with Iowa, Northwestern, and Ohio State.  However, the Spartans are the only school in the Big Ten to have recorded two shutouts in conference games.
MSU recorded shutouts of  Miami (Ohio) (1-0), Indiana (3-0), Ohio State (1-0), and Ohio (1-0).  Goaltender Molly Cassidy has tallied 11 shutouts in her career.

Big Ten Hot Shots
Allie Ahern is tied  for fourth in the Big Ten in game-winning goals (3) while Abby Barker ranks sixth in points (25) and goals (11).  Barker also ranks eighth in shots (40), points per game (1.79) and goals per game (0.79).

On defense, sophomore Alli Helwig is tied with Jessica Barnett (Iowa) for second in defensive saves (3).  Redshirt junior Molly Cassidy leads Big Ten goaltenders in save percentage (.822), saves (88) and saves per game (6.29).  Cassidy is ranked third in GAA at 1.33. 

Big Ten Player of the Week

Redshirt junior goalkeeper Molly Cassidy was named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week on Oct. 9. She notched two shutouts, against Ohio State University, 1-0,and Ohio University, 1-0, her tenth and eleventh career shutouts.  Cassidy tallied three saves while facing the Buckeyes and two saves in the overtime match against the Bobcats.  Cassidy leads the Big Ten goaltenders in conference games with save percentage (.947), goals against average (0.33), and shutouts (2).

This is Cassidy's sixth Defensive Player of the Week award during her career at Michigan State, and second this season.  She also received Defensive Player of the Week honors on Sept. 4.

Michigan State will appear on the Big Ten Network during its game this weekend at the University of Michigan on Friday, Oct. 12, at 3 p.m. 

Past Players
Two of Michigan State's coaches return to their universities in contests this weekend.  Head coach Helen Knull played for and coached at Kent State, while assistant coach Molly Maloney won a National Championship at Michigan as a player.

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 shutouts in a season (9).

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.

Next Up
MSU field hockey will face Northwestern on Friday, Oct. 19 before taking on in-state rival Central Michigan in Mount Pleasant on Saturday, Oct. 21.

The Last Meeting
Michigan State0
October 21, 2011
East Lansing, Mich.
Field Hockey Falls to No. 7 Michigan, 2-0
The Michigan State field hockey team (7-10, 1-4 Big Ten) was blanked at home by No. 7 Michigan, 2-0. The defense stood strong for the Spartans, stopping 18 of Michigan's 20 shots. The defensive effort was led by goaltender Molly Cassidy, who tallied nine saves.

The Last Meeting
Kent State1  
Michigan State2OT
September 25, 2011
East Lansing, Mich.
Field Hockey Edges Kent State, 2-1, in Overtime Thriller
In its first home match of the season, the Michigan State field hockey team (5-6, 0-1 Big Ten) droppedKent State 2-1, in overtime. Freshman midfielder Becky Stiles recorded the game-winning goal, while redshirt sophomore Elizabeth Helffrich sent the game to overtime with a second-half equalizer. Redshirt goaltender Molly Cassidy tallied three saves in MSU's fifth victory of the season.



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