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No. 20 Field Hockey Finishes Up Road Stretch

Goaltender Molly Cassidy owns a 1.47 GAA and .800 save percentage.

Oct. 18, 2012

EAST LANSING, Mich. -The No. 20 Michigan State field hockey team travels to face Big Ten opponent Northwestern on Friday at 4 p.m. and in-state foe Central Michigan on Sunday at 1 p.m.

Reflections on Last Weekend
The Spartans began last weekend with a heartbreaking overtime loss to rival Michigan, 3-2.  On Sunday, MSU rebounded as they defeated Kent State 4-2.  The team owns a 9-7 overall record and is 2-2 in the Big Ten. 

Sophomore Abby Barker scored the first goal just two minutes into the match against Michigan.  Barker stole the ball from the Michigan defense inside the circle for a turnover giving her the opportunity for a high shot.  Barker's second goal of the game came after a deflection by the Michigan defense after a hard shot on net in the 21st minute.  The goal was assisted by Heather Howie, her second of the season.  Rachael Mack and Shannon Scavelli evened the score for the Wolverines with goals in the 36th and 40th minutes.  At 3:58 in the extra period, Michigan's Aisling Naughton scored from one yard out by the post giving Michigan the decisive goal and the victory.  Molly Cassidy tallied five saves for Michigan State.

The Last Meeting
Michigan State0
September 29, 2011
East Lansing, Mich.
Field Hockey Falls Short to No. 16 Northwestern, 3-0
Battling through the rain for the entire game, the Michigan State field hockey team was blanked by No. 16 Northwestern, 3-0. Redshirt goaltender Molly Cassidy totaled eight saves in the Big Ten match. All three of the Wildcat's goals were scored during penalty corners.

The Last Meeting
Michigan State2
Central Michigan1
September 21, 2011
Mount Pleasant, Mich.
Field Hockey Edges Central Michigan
After scoring back-to-back goals, the Michigan State field hockey team (4-5) topped in-state rivals Central Michigan, 2-1. Junior midfielder Adelle Lever notched the game-tying tally and sophomore forward Katherine Jamieson secured MSU's victory with her first goal of the season.

In the match against Kent State, MSU opened the contest with three goals in the first 14 minutes.  Jenni Smith scored the first Spartan goal at 7:25 and also assisted on the next two goals, scored by Heather Howie and Becky Stiles.  Alyssa McFerren put points on the scoreboard for Kent State in the 19th minute from the left side.  MSU pushed its lead back to three as Barker scored for the Spartans in the 56th minute.  The Golden Flashes' Rebecca Lee scored the final goal of the game 12 minutes later, finalizing the score at 4-2.  Cassidy saved three shots for the Spartans.

Notes on Northwestern
No. 8 Northwestern defeated Indiana, 4-0, and Central Michigan, 6-0, last weekend as its record improved to 14-2 overall and 3-1 in the Big Ten.  The Wildcats are 5-0 at home this season.

Three NU players have accumulated 20 or more points this season, including senior Chelsea Armstrong leading the Big Ten with 24 goals and seven assists (55 points).  Junior Tara Puffenberger follows Armstrong with 35 points from 13 goals and nine assists.  Freshman Lisa McCarthy leads Northwestern in assists (15) and has scored three goals (21 points).  In goal for the Wildcats are Maddy Carpenter and Amanda Wirth.  Carpenter has started in 13 games, and owns a 1.30 GAA and .759 save percentage, while Wirth has started three contests and has a 2.14 GAA and .706 save percentage.

Northwestern leads the Big Ten in scoring margin (3.00), shutouts (.38), goals scored (67), goals allowed (19), and assists (64). 

Michigan State is 24-34 all-time against Northwestern.  The Spartans have defeated the Wildcats in four of the last five meetings.  Last year, Northwestern came away with a 3-0 shutout, where Molly Cassidy made eight saves.  MSU had its last victory against the Wildcats in 2010, 2-1.

Challenging the Chippewas
Central Michigan is 6-8 on the season and suffered two losses last weekend.   The Chippewas were defeated by Indiana, 4-2, and downed by Northwestern, 6-0.

Erin Dye has tallied a team-best of eight goals and also has one assist (17 points) for CMU.  Close behind Dye is Bailey McKeon, who has scored six goals this season and notched three assists (15 points).  Erica Garwood leads Central in assists (5) and has scored four goals (13 points).   In the cage for Central Michigan is Anastasia Netto, with a GAA of 2.37 and a save percentage of .644.

The Spartans lead the Chippewas in the series 39-14-4.  Michigan State has won the last four meetings, including last year, a 2-1 victory.  Adelle Lever and Katherine Jamieson scored in the matchup.

Scoring Spartans
Eight different players have scored for MSU this season, tallying a total of 28 goals this season.  Four sophomores lead with points for the Spartans.

Forward Abby Barker leads the Spartans with 14 goals and three assists (21 points).  Forward Heather Howie has totaled 12 points by scoring five goals and assisting on two (12 points).  Forward Allie Ahern has notched four goals and two assists (10 points).  Defenseman Jenni Smith leads MSU with assists (4) and scored her first career goal against Kent State (6 points).

Goaltender Molly Cassidy owns a 1.47 GAA and .800 save percentage. 

MSU in Rankings
Michigan State dropped to No. 20 in the 2012 Penn Monto/National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) Division I National Coaches Poll on Oct. 16.  The Spartans were ranked No. 19 last week and dropped one spot after going 1-1 last weekend.

On The Road Again
The Spartans finish up their series of six consecutive road games this weekend when they travel to Evanston, Ill., to take on Northwestern, and to Mount Pleasant, Mich., to face Central Michigan.  The team will return to East Lansing for the final regular-season game against Penn State on Oct. 27.

What's Trending
This season MSU has scored more in the first half (15) then the second half (11) this season. 

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

The Spartans have scored first in eight of their nine 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 three losses. 
Spartan Shutouts
Michigan State has recorded four shutouts this season.  MSU is tied for second in the Big Ten in that category with Iowa 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.

Senior Night
Michigan State field hockey will hold senior night during the final match of regular-season against Penn State.  The contest will be on Saturday, Oct. 27, at 12 p.m. at Ralph Young Field. 

Big Ten Hot Shots
Sophomore Abby Barker ranks third in goals in the Big Ten (14).  Barker holds the fifth spot in the rankings for goals per game (0.88) and points (31).  Allie Ahern ties for fifth in game-winning goals (3) with Jessica Barnett (Iowa) and Tara Puffenberger (Northwestern).  Sophomore Alli Helwig is tied with Barnett for third in defensive saves (3). 

Redshirt junior goaltender Molly Cassidy ranks first in save percentage (.800), saves (96), and saves per game (6.00).  Cassidy ranks second in shutouts (4.0) and in GAA (1.47).  The goaltender also ranks sixth in the NCAA in save percentage. 

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 will return to East Lansing for their final regular-season contest on Saturday, Oct. 27, at noon.  This will be the first game at Ralph Young Field since the matchup against Pacific on Oct. 1.



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