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No. 21 Field Hockey Concludes Regular-Season Schedule

MSU field hockey has five seniors graduating.

Oct. 25, 2012

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EAST LANSING, Mich.The No. 21 Michigan State field hockey team will conclude its regular-season schedule with a home game against No. 5 Penn State on Saturday at 12 p.m.

“Penn State will be a tough game on Saturday, they are a quick team,” said head coach Helen Knull.  “This game is all about seeding for the tournament, we are looking to finish strong.”

Reflections on Last Weekend
Michigan State defeated Central Michigan on Sunday, 2-1 in overtime, after falling to No. 8 Northwestern, 2-1, on Friday.   The Spartans own an overall record of 10-8, while they are 2-3 in the Big Ten.

In the match against Northwestern, a defensive battle held off scoring until the 24th minute when Wildcat Lena Phillips tapped a loose ball in at 24:13.  NU gained a two-goal lead on the Spartans with a score less than two minutes into the second period off a penalty corner.  At 60:11, Allie Ahern scored MSU’s lone goal after stealing the ball from Northwestern for a turnover inside the circle.  Molly Cassidy tallied four saves for MSU.

Sophomore Abby Barker’s two goals led Michigan State to its overtime win against Central Michigan.  Barker’s first goal came on her third shot in a row, with the first two saved by the CMU goaltender.  The Chippewas came back in a similar fashion with two shots on goal prior to tying up the score at 1-1 with a goal by Skylar Vannatta.  With a scoreless second half, Barker’s game-winning goal came with 1:32 expired in the extra period.  After a pass from Heather Howie, Barker shot the ball into the cage as Netto came out of the box.  Cassidy recorded eight saves for the Spartans.

Plotting Against Penn State
No. 5 Penn State enters this weekend 14-3 overall and 4-1 in the Big Ten.  This week Penn State picked up a shutout win against Bucknell on Tuesday, 2-0, and shutout Ohio State last weekend, 3-0. 

Penn State has five players on the roster with more than 20 points tallied this season.  Leading the Nittany Lions and ranking second in the Big Ten with 50 points is Kelsey Amy, who has scored 21 goals and assisted on eight.  Ashtin Klinger follows Amy with 24 points from 11 goals and two assists, third in scoring goals is Brittany Grzywacz with 10 goals and one assist (21 points).  Whitney Reddig leads Penn State in assists (14) and has scored three goals (20 points), close behind is Laura Gebhard with 12 assists and five goals (22 points).  Ayla Halus, goaltender for Penn State, has a 1.65 GAA and .727 save percentage. 

Penn State’s Brittany Grzywacz leads the Big Ten in defensive saves (5).  Amy leads shots per game (109) while ranking second in points per game (3.12), goals (21), and goals per game (0.89).

Michigan State is 10-24 all-time against Penn State.  Last year, Penn State recorded a victory, 4-1, where Molly Cassidy made nine saves.  The Spartans last defeated Penn State, 5-1, in 2009. 

Scoring Spartans
Eight different players have scored for MSU this season, tallying a total of 31 goals this season. 

Sophomore Abby Barker leads Michigan State with 16 goals and three assists (35 points).  Heather Howie has totaled 13 points with five goals and three assists.  Allie Ahern has scored five goals and tallied two assists (12 points). 

Redshirt junior Molly Cassidy owns a 1.47 GAA and .800 save percentage. 

MSU in Rankings
Michigan State dropped to No. 21 in the 2012 Penn Monto/National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) Division I National Coaches Poll on Oct. 16.  The Spartans were ranked No. 20 last week and dropped one spot after going 1-1 last weekend.

What's Trending
This season MSU has scored more in the first half (16) then the second half (12) this season. 

Michigan State has won three of five games that have gone into overtime.

Seven of the ten Spartan wins have been by one goal.

The Spartans have scored first in nine of their ten 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. 

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.

Big Ten Hot Shots
Forward Abby Barker is tied for third in the Big Ten in goals (16) and ranks fourth in goals per game (0.89).  Barker holds the seventh spot in points per game (1.94) and shots (56).  Alli Helwig is tied for third in defensive saves (3) with Jessica Barnett (Iowa) and Laura Napolitano (Ohio State).

Goalkeeper Molly Cassidy ranks first in save percentage (.800), saves per game (6.00), and saves (108).  Cassidy ranks third in shutouts (4.0) and in GAA (1.47).  The goaltender also ranks seventh in the NCAA in save percentage. 

Spartan Seniors
A fifth year senior from Chelsea, Mich., Corey Block has excelled on the field and in the classroom, contributing to the Spartan defense for the past three seasons.  During her Spartan career, Block has recorded three defensive saves and participated in 63 games.  In the 2011 season, a big defensive save helped in the 2-1 win at Miami.  Block was honored as a member of the Academic All-Big Ten team in 2009, 2010, and 2011, and was a member of the NFHCA National Academic Squad from 2008-2011.  Block will recieve her Bachelor’s Degree in kinesiology in December.

A fifth year senior from Middleburg, Va., Chelsy Coil has recorded two goals and one assist for the Spartans in her career as a forward.  Coil’s goals came in back-to-back games against California and Louisville in 2011.  The forward has played in 43 games and was a three-time recipient of the team Spirit Award from 2008 – 2010. The forward will receive her bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies in May 2013. 

A senior from Cleveland, Ohio, Lizzie Helffrich tallied four goals in her 47 career games for Michigan State.  Helffrich helped the Spartans in their victory against Miami, 2-1, in 2011 with her game-winning goal.  She scored a career high of three goals in the 2011 season. Helffrich was honored as a member of the Academic All-Big Ten Team as well as the NFHCA National Academic Squad in 2010 & 2011. She will graduate with a Bachelor’s degree in chemistry.

As a fifth-year senior from Bethlehem, Pa., Christie Jones plays midfield for Michigan State.  Jones has seen action in 49 games as a Spartan and was a part of the Big Ten Championship team in 2009.  This season she assisted on a goal during the matchup against Pacific.  Jones will graduate with a Bachelor’s degree in communications.

A senior forward from Louisville, Ky., Jessica Lindner has seen action in 74 games during her Spartan career.   The forward has scored five goals and assisted on seven, and most recently she scored during the shutout win over Indiana.  This season she assisted on a goal during the victory against Louisville and the game against Pacific.  In 2010 and 2011 Lindner was an Academic All-Big Ten honoree and a member of the NFHCA National Academic Squad. Lindner was also chosen as the team’s spirit award winner in 2011. She will graduate with a Bachelor’s degree in human biology. 

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 begin its post season at the Big Ten Tournament Nov. 1-4.



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