Field Hockey Prepares for Big Ten Tournament
Big Ten Preview
Nov. 2, 2011
EAST LANSING, Mich- The Michigan State field hockey team (7-12, 1-5 Big Ten) travels to Penn State on Thursday for the first round of the Big Ten Tournament. The Spartans received the No. 7 seed and will face off against the No. 2 seed, Ohio State. The match takes place on Thursday, Nov. 3rd at 12:15 p.m.
The Spartans dropped both of their matches last weekend at home to No. 9 Stanford, 3-0, and at No. 8 Penn State, 4-1. Redshirt sophomore goaltender Molly Cassidy 11 saves against the Cardinal and nine against the Nittany Lions. Sophomore forward Katherine Jamieson notched the lone Spartan goal over the weekend off of a pass from freshman Becky Stiles in the Spartans final conference match of the regular season.
We Meet Again
Michigan State and Ohio State met earlier this season in East Lansing, and the Spartans defeated the Buckeyes, 2-1, in a match that was decided on strokes. Freshman Alllie Ahern notched the regulation goal for the Spartans off of a corner play, and tallied the game-winning stroke. Juniors Jessica Lindner and Adelle Lever also capitalized on their stroke opportunities. Cassidy tied her career high-saves in the match with 14 and was a huge influence in the Spartans' penalty stroke victory.
Scouting Ohio State
Ohio State wrapped up its conference season in a three-way tie for second place. The Buckeyes secured the second seed in the tournament due to the tiebreakers; their record overall was 11-7 and they went 7-2 in Big Ten play.
OSU concluded its season with a 3-1 win over Northwestern. Senior defender Jenn Sciulli leads the conference in defensive saves with nine. Danica Deckard and Berta Queralt lead the Buckeyes in offense with 24 points each. Deckard has notched 11 goals and two assists while Queralt has scored ten times and assisted four. Ally Tunitis is the netminder for OSU, recording a save percentage of .724 and a GAA of 1.44
The 2011 Big Ten Tournament is hosted by Penn State. The tournament begins on Thursday, No. 3rd, with the three quarterfinal games. The 2011 Big Ten Regular-Season Champion Michigan received the No. 1 seed and has a bye-round the first day of the tournament. No. 4 Iowa and No. 5 Indiana face off at 10 a.m. followed by the Spartans' match against No. 2 Ohio State at 12:15. The final match of the day will be No. 3 Penn State vs. No. 6 Northwestern.
Fans can visit the Big Ten Tournament Central for all the up to date stats, recaps, and photos.
In the Past
In the 2010 Big Ten Tournament, the Spartans recorded a 3-1 victory over Northwestern in the opening round to advance to the semi-finals. MSU was topped by No. 1 seed Ohio State, 2-0, in the semifinals, and was eliminated from the tournament. As hosts of the 2009 Big Ten Tournament, the Spartans captured both the regular season title and the tournament title, going 6-0 in regular season conference play.
Dominating on Defense
Junior midfielder Adelle Lever leads the team in defensive saves with four. She most recently recorded one against Michigan, which prevented the Wolverines from scoring on a corner play. Her previous saves came against Northeastern, Kent State, and Indiana. Her four defensive saves ties her for second in the Big Ten.
Redshirt senior back Angie Lucik has tallied two defensive saves, with her most recent one coming against the Nittany Lions. Redshirt junior back Corey Block as also tallied a defensive save this season.
The Spartans have had three different players honored by the Big Ten as Players of the Week so far this season. Goaltender Molly Cassidy was honored twice as the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week. Her first accolade came after her 3-0 shutout over No. 7 Virginia and a 2-1 win over Miami of Ohio for the week of Sept. 13th. She was most recently honored for the week of Oct. 18th after tying her career-high with 14 saves against the Buckeyes and notching two game-changing saves in the penalty stroke victory which gave the Spartans their first conference win.
Freshman Allie Ahern was also recognized the week of Oct. 18th as the Big Ten Freshman of the Week. The forward notched the game-tying goal against the Buckeyes and converted on her penalty stroke attempt to secure MSU's 2-1 victory. Freshman Abby Barker was named the Big Ten Freshman of the Week for the week of Oct. 11th after scoring the lone tally in MSU's 1-0 win over Ball State and scoring two goals in the Spartans 4-2 loss to Indiana.
Big Ten Leader
Goalkeeper Molly Cassidy leads the Big Ten in saves per game with an average of 7.37 per contest. She also leads the conference in total saves, with 140 in 19 games. Cassidy has a GAA of 3.07 and a save percentage of .749.
On the Road Again
The Spartans finished up their regular season 2-4 at home, tallying wins over Kent State and Ohio State. Both matches needed overtime - the Spartans' win over the Golden Flashes came in OT when freshman Becky Stiles connected with the back of the net on a corner play. MSU's win over Ohio State was a match that was decided on strokes. The Green and White were 4-5 while playing on the road and 1-3 in neutral contests.
The Spartans' two top scorers are freshmen forwards Abby Barker and Allie Ahern. Barker leads the team in goals scored with eight and game-winning goals with three. She also has recorded an assist. Ahern has notched four goals and one assist so far in her debut season with MSU. She leads the Spartans in shots with 35. Freshman Becky Stiles has also contributed a lot on offense, tallying one game-winning goal and notching four assists.
The Spartans have had goal contributions from 11 different players so far this season. Abby Barker leads the Spartans with eight goals. Behind her is Allie Ahern who has notched four goals and one assist, and redshirt sophomore Elizabeth Helffrich has tallied three goals. Sophomore forward Katherine Jamieson has scored twice and registered three assists. Junior Adelle Lever and redshirt junior Chelsy Coil each have also scored twice for MSU. Freshman Heather Howie leads the team in assists with four.