Field Hockey Prepares to Host Big Ten Tournament
Nov. 4, 2009
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Rolf van de Kerkhof
EAST LANSING, Mich. - Following a weekend which saw it cap off its first undefeated Big Ten Regular Season in school history, the Michigan State field hockey team is preparing to host the Big Ten Tournament. Having earned a first round bye for winning the Big Ten Regular Season Championship, the Spartans will play Friday (Nov. 6) at 12:15 p.m. against the winner of Thursdays' Michigan/Iowa matchup.
"We are excited to start Big Ten Tournament play," said head coach Rolf van de Kerkhof. "We are going to take things one hockey moment at a time and if we are able to do that it should be a good weekend for the Spartans."
The Big Ten Network will cover the Tournament semifinals and finals with the following live schedule:
Friday, November 6th:
Sunday, November 8th:
Scouting the Spartans:
The Spartans, who enter the Big Ten Tournament as the number one seed, have a 15-3 overall record (6-0 Big Ten).
On the season, the Spartans have been led offensively by seniors Floor Rijpma (Bunnik, Netherlands) and Jeamie Deacon (Wexford, Ireland) and freshman Manouk Vernij (Bleiswijk, Netherlands). Rijpma, a four-time Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week, has recorded a team-high 39 points on 18 goals and three assists. Deacon, a two-time All-Big Ten Selection, has recorded 20 points on seven goals and six assists despite missing time due to injuries. While Vernij, a three-time Big Ten Freshman of the Week, has tallied 26 points on eight goals and 10 assists. The Spartan offense will also get contributions from junior Jantine Steinmetz (Amstelveen, Netherlands) and sophomore Chantae Miller (East Amherst, N.Y.) who have each tallied 19 points on the season.
The Spartan defense will be led by senior goalkeeper Elissa Unger (Reading, Pa.). Unger, a two-time Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week, finished the regular season with a Big Ten leading 1.17 goals against average and .794 save percentage. Protecting the turf in front of Unger will be a trio of talented defenders in junior Joelle van Ierland (Den Dolder, Netherlands) and sophomores Angie Lucik (Emmaus, Pa.) and Holly Sherman (Vancouver, B.C.).
The Spartans enter the Big Ten Tournament near the top of the Big Ten in nearly every offensive category including scoring margin (+2.09), scoring average (3.41), shots per game (18.39), goals scored (62) and goals scored per game (3.44). The Spartans also rank first in the Big Ten in goals against average (1.32) and goals allowed per game (1.33).
Scouting the Competition:
Ohio State: The Buckeyes enter the Big Ten Tournament as the number two seed after finishing the regular season with a 13-5 (4-2 Big Ten) record. The Buckeyes are led by forward Berta Queralt, who has amassed 44 points on 16 goals and 12 assists, and goalkeeper Lindsay Quintiliani, who boasts an impressive 1.18 goals against average.
Indiana: The Hoosiers enter the Big Ten Tournament as the number three seed after finishing the regular season with a 12-5 (4-2 Big Ten) record. The Hoosiers are led by forward Morgan Fleetwood, who has recorded 28 points on 11 goals and six assists, and goalkeeper Alex Mann, who has recorded 60 saves on the season.
Iowa: The Hawkeyes enter the Big Ten Tournament as the number four seed after finishing the regular season with a 8-9 (3-3 Big Ten) record. The Hawkeyes are led offensively by Tricia Dean who has recorded 23 points on seven goals and nine assists.
Michigan: The Wolverines enter the Big Ten Tournament as the number five seed after finishing the regular season with a 7-13 (2-4 Big Ten) record. The Wolverines are led on offense by Meredith Way who has recorded 38 points on 17 goals and four assists.
Northwestern: The Wildcats enter the Big Ten Tournament as the number six seed after finishing the regular season with a 12-7 (1-5 Big Ten) record. The Wildcats are led on offense by Chelsea Armstrong who has recorded a Big Ten leading 56 points on 22 goals and 12 assists.
Penn State: The Nittany Lions enter the Big Ten Tournament as the number seven seed after finishing the regular season with a 6-12 (1-5 Big Ten) record. The Nittany Lions are led by goalkeeper Ali Meves who has recorded a Big Ten leading 100 saves on the season.
For more information on the Big Ten Tournament, including ticket information, live game scoring, box scores and postgame coaches podcasts, please visit Big Ten Tournament Central.
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