Sept. 4, 2011
East Lansing, Mich. - Junior frontrunner Olivia Stander (Grosse Pointe Woods, Mich.) scored her first career hat trick and senior keeper Jill Flietstra (Hudsonville, Mich.) became the school's all-time shutout leader as Michigan State downed Akron, 5-0, in Ohio on Sunday afternoon. The Spartans improve to 4-1 with their fourth consecutive victory.
"I really thought that today, we put together our best 90 minutes so far this season," said head coach Tom Saxton. "It was a good win over a good team. I thought we played calmly and efficiently throughout the game."
The Spartans exploded for four second-half goals, which included individual tallies by Laura Heyboer (Hudsonville, Mich.) and Kori Reinhart (Okemos, Mich.). Reinhart's tally in the 87th minute was the first goal of her MSU career. Stander opened the game's scoring with the lone tally of the first half, potting an unassisted tally in the 17th minute on a strike from 18 yards. Her second tally was set up by Heyboer in the 62nd minute, and Kelsey Mullen had the assist on Stander's third tally. Both Heyboer and Reinhart's tallies were unassisted.
Today was just a great day for Olivia," continued Saxton. "She and Laura [Heyboer] can create and set up each other - and to keep those two on a roll is great for us"
Meanwhile, the senior keeper Flietstra made two saves in each half to record her fourth consecutive shutout and the 23rd of her Spartan career. Flietstra has extended her personal scoreless streak to 398:59, dating back to her last goal allowed - in the first half against Milwaukee in the season opener. Her career-best shutout streak is 560:34, set last fall over seven games. Her career-best is five consecutive shutout games, set during that streak.
Saxton had praise for his young defense, which graduated two mainstays from the 2010 team. "They continue to grow. Annie Steinlage and Kelsey Kassab were very good today. In rain, there is some extra pressure on back line and the goalkeeper. They made great decisions, and Jill did a great job behind them. Those three were so good together, and the wings [starters Katelin Chaklos and Desiree Aber] were very good, too. Im pleased to see how it is developing."
MSU got 22 different field players into the game, as only Annie Steinlage and Kelsey Kassab played all 90 minutes. Akron keeper Jeny Wolbert had an impressive day, dsspite the final score - she made 8 saves in 90 minutes.
Michigan State will play at home twice next weekend, hosting Bowling Green on Friday at 2:30 p.m. before a noon start against UC-Santa Barbara on Sunday. Both days, fans can see a doubleheader at DeMartin Stadium, as the men's teams host Georgetown (Friday) and Marshall (Sunday).