Oct. 30, 2011
Evanston, Ill. - Michigan State (14-5-0) closed out the regular season on Saturday night in Evanston, posting a 2-0 victory over Northwestern. The victory moved MSU into third place in the Big Ten standings, and the Spartans have earned the third seed in next week's Big Ten Tournament.
MSU will travel back to Evanston on Tuesday to prepare for a Wednesday Big Ten Tournament opener. The Spartans will play in the first game of that first day of the tournament, at 11:30 a.m. ET, taking on No. 6 seed Iowa. Big Ten Tournament semifinal games will be held Friday, and the Championship game on Sunday.
On Saturday in Evanston, MSU closed out the regular season in fine style, as seniors had both Spartan goals and senior Jill Flietstra posted her ninth shutout of the season.
The teams battled through a scoreless first half, but MSU forced Northwestern keeper Anna Kassel to make four stops in the opening half. The Spartan defense clamped down in the second half, as Flietstra's two saves both came in the opening frame and no shots were on net in the second half of the game for NU.
Mikki Dennis opened the scoring for MSU in the 50th minute. Leading scorer Laura Heyboer sent the ball into the box for Dennis, and she finished the play from about 12 yards out. It was her second goal of the season.
The Spartans padded their lead with an insurance tally in the 61st minute. Senior Hannah Peterson was the goal scorer, with assists going to fullback Kelsey Kassab and Heyboer. Peterson's tally was her fourth of the season.
Flietsra posted her second consecutive whitewash, and ninth of her senior season.
Michigan State will have a short time back in East Lansing before getting back on a bus headed back to Northwestern for the Big Ten Tournament. The tournament begins on Wednesday with four games; the top eight teams in the final regular-season standings qualify. A complete tournament bracket will be released on Sunday, after the conclusion of the Ohio State-Indiana game.
Complete information on the 2011 Big Ten Women's Soccer Tournament hosted by Northwestern can be found here.