Iowa Faces Michigan State At Home

Sept. 27, 2005

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Homecoming Match versus Michigan State

The Hawkeyes are home this weekend for a homecoming contest against Michigan State University. Iowa (6-4, 0-1) will face the Spartans (7-3, 0-1) at Grant Field on Saturday, October 1. The starting time has been changed from 1 p.m. to noon.

Iowa Upset in Big Ten Opener

Big Ten field hockey action started last week and Iowa was on the road against Ohio State University. The Hawkeyes couldn’t stop the streaking Buckeyes who earned their seventh straight victory downing Iowa 4-2.

The first half was full of action as the teams combined for five of the six goals scored in the game. Ohio State scored first at the 18:34 mark and then again less than two minutes later to take an early 2-0 lead.

After Ohio State’s second goal, Iowa Coach Tracey Griesbaum called a time out to pull her squad together. Minutes after the break Caitlin McCurdy scored on a corner shot to pull Iowa within one point, but Ohio State responded with a penalty stroke goal to extend the lead back to 3-1. The Hawkeyes went into halftime just one goal down, 3-2, after McCurdy found the net on a corner shot at the 32:09 mark.

Iowa couldn’t muster any offense in the second half and took just one shot in the final 35 minutes. Luckily the Iowa defense didn’t fold and allowed only one Ohio State goal in ten attempts. Yesenia Luces scored the final goal of the contest eight minutes into the second half and the Buckeyes held on for the 4-2 victory.

The Buckeye defense held Iowa’s offense in check, allowing only four shots the entire game. McCurdy, a freshman, scored two goals on two shots. Sickel, a sophomore, and senior Debbie Birrell accounted for the other two Iowa shots taken in the game. Ohio State took 18 shots, eight in the first half and ten in the second.

Freshman Lissa Munley had a busy day in the net, with five saves all coming in the second half. The fours goals scored against her by Ohio State increases her goals against total to 14 and her goals against average to 1.4 per game.

Michigan State

The Big Ten tournament was the last time these two teams met with the Hawkeyes earning a 1-0 victory in overtime to advance to the championship game against Michigan. Iowa leads the overall series 41-8-1.

Both teams enter Saturday’s contest with an 0-1 record in the Big Ten after being upset by lower ranked schools. The number-six ranked Spartans were defeated by 11th-ranked Indiana 3-2 in double-team overtime in Bloomington and the tenth-ranked Hawkeyes were downed by #14 Ohio State 4-2 in Columbus. Indiana and Ohio State both jumped up in the NFHCA national poll, while Michigan State and Iowa fell.

Senior forward Michelle Huynh-Ba has lead the Spartans this season in scoring. She has six goals and one assist through ten games. Last year, Huynh-Ba started all 22 games for Michigan State and was a second-Team NFHCA All-Region honoree, a Second-Team All-Big Ten pick and was named to the Big Ten All-Tournament Team.

Jessica Miller is another senior with a big impact. As a midfielder, she has scored ten points on two goals and six assists. Miller ended 2004 with a three-game point streak, recording an assist in back-to-back games versus Boston College and Michigan in the NCAA Tournament and two assists against Duke in the NCAA Final Four.

Christina Kirkaldy is a senior goalkeeper for the Spartans. She has started every game in goal for Michigan State since she arrived on campus. Last season, she was a Second-Team All-Region and All-Big Ten honoree. Over three years, she has a 58-12 record with 75 goals scored against her for a 1.13 goals against average, has had 17 shutouts and recorded 284 saves for a .791 save percentage. Through ten games this season, Kirkaldy has recorded three shutouts, a 1.46 goals against average and 46 saves.

Michelle Madison is in her 13th year as head coach at Michigan State. Madison led her 2004 squad to an impressive 18-4 record (5-1 Big Ten) and a NCAA Final Four appearance. Although the Hawkeyes took out Michigan State in the semi-finals of the Big Ten tournament, the Spartans rebounded for NCAA tournament wins against Boston College (4-0) and Michigan (3-2) before bowing out to Duke, 5-2, in the NCAA championships.

At Michigan State, Madison has compiled a 143-108-2 record and a career record of 196-135-8 in 16 years.

Big Ten Shuffle in National Poll

Six of the seven schools in the Big Ten conference are ranked in the STX/NFHCA national poll again this week. However, after upsets last weekend in conference play, the order has shifted around a bit. Michigan State, Michigan and Iowa all dropped spots after losing to lower-ranked teams. The Spartans dropped from the number six spot to nine, while Michigan and Iowa, number nine and ten last week, are now ranked 14th and 15th, respectively. Penn State moved up to the seventh spot from the number eight position, Indiana jumped from the 11th spot to the eight hole and Ohio State moved from 14th to number ten in the nation.