MSU Hosts Miami Wednesday in NCAA Play-In
Spartans making ninth NCAA Tournament Appearance
Nov. 10, 2013
EAST LANSING, Mich. - Michigan State has earned its ninth NCAA Tournament bid in program history, and the Spartans, (12-9) will host Miami on Wednesday, Nov. 13 in a play-in game. The NCAA Tournament field was announced on Sunday evening, Nov. 10.
The Spartans, who captured their fourth Big Ten title in program history, will host a play-in game (Wednesday, 2 p.m.) against the Red Hawks, who downed MSU earlier this season in a non-conference matchup. The winner will play No. 2 seed Syracuse on Saturday in the First Round.
"I am very proud of this team - we had some rough spots to the season, but are playing our best hockey when it counts," said third-year head coach Helen Knull. "Winning a championship today was a great reward for sticking with our process. I'm so happy that this group gets to experience an NCAA Tournament - their excitement when seeing their name come up on the screen was a thrill.
"I think we're playing better than the first time that we saw Miami this year, and playing at home, I think, gives us a bit of an advantage after a long travel day today," continued the head coach. "I know our team is looking forward to another game at Ralph Young Field in front of our amazing fans."
MSU won seven of its last nine games, and finished third in the Big Ten regular season with a 4-2 overall record. Michigan State earned the Big Ten's automatic bid by defeating Iowa, 3-2 on Sunday and winning the Big Ten Tournament Championship. The Spartans erased a 2-0 halftime deficit by scoring three unanswered goals, as Tournament MVP Abby Barker scored twice and senior Adelle Lever capped the victory with the game -winner with seven minutes remaining in regulation. It was MSU's fourth Big Ten Tournament title in program history, and first since 2009.
The MSU field hockey program will make its ninth NCAA Tournament appearance and first since a stretch of four straight postseason appearances from 2007-2010. Michigan State is 8-8 all-time in the NCAA Tournament.
The tournament begins Wednesday with play-in games on campus sites. On Nov. 16-17, first-round games will be contested, leading into the Championship weekend, which is Nov. 22-24 at the L. R. Hill Sports Complex in Norfolk, VA.