Saturday's MAC Field Hockey Results

Updated 8/28/2010
Saturday's MAC Field Hockey Results
Kent State 4, William & Mary 1
Michigan State 4, Central Michigan 2
Missouri State 7, Lindenwood (MO) 1
Appalachian State 4, Ball State 3 (OT)

Game stories courtesy of MAC Sports Information Departments

Kent State 4, William & Mary 1
HARRISONBURG, Va. - A pair of early scores helped set the tone as a balanced scoring attack led the Kent State field hockey team to a season opening 4-1 win over William & Mary.  Four different players scored in the game for the Golden Flashes which improved to 1-0 on the year after winning their season opener for a third consecutive season.

Playing at James Madison's Field Hockey Complex, KSU wasted little time in recording its first goal of the season.  Two-time All-American Rachel Miller (Bathurst, Australia / MacKillop College) lived up to her billed as the senior midfielder found the back of the cage from seven yards out just three minutes and 40 seconds into the season.  

Fellow senior Katie George (Springfield, Pa/Cardinal O'Hara), who joined Miller on the All Mid-American Conference team last season, kept the pressure on as she scored a little under four minutes later.  The goal came off a penalty shot rebound and marked the first of George's career as she staked KSU to a 2-0 advantage only eight minutes into the contest.  

The early lead helped spark the Golden Flashes' defensive effort which limited the Tribe to eight shots and only four penalty corners on the day.  

"Getting on the board early was exciting and it gave us an instant boost," said Head Coach Kathleen (Schanne) Wiler.  "That energy was spread throughout the team and on the sideline as everyone stepped up to contribute.  Our defense, midfielders and forward all played great."

Playing in her first collegiate game, freshman Melanie Kahn (San Diego, Calif./Serra) recorded a goal for Kent State in the second half.  Kahn scored off an assist from Bryn Stevens (Hummelstown, Pa./Lower Dauphin) who passed a loose ball in the left corner.  The goal came at 50:35 and put KSU on top 3-0 in the early stages of the final period.  The defense continued to stand strong and goalie  Caroline Suitch (Mountain Top, Pa. / Crestwood) backed the effort with five saves for the game.  

"Before the game we talked about focusing on our defensive organization and I think we are starting to see the results of everything we worked on in the preseason," said Wiler.

William & Mary (0-1), which was also playing its season opener, would finally crack the Golden Flashes' defensive stand.  Mikala Savaides spoiled the shutout when she scored off a rebound in the 62nd minute of play.  

After finishing second in the nation in goals scored per games last season, no Kent State field hockey game feels quite complete until junior Debbie Bell (Hamilton, New Zealand / Waikato) gets on the board.  Bell, who assisted on Miller's goal to start the game, came through in the at 65:30 when she took a pass from senior Nicole Leach (San Diego, Calif./Mira Mesa) and scored from 10-yards out on the left baseline.  

Kent State held a 19-8 advantage in shots taken and a 10-4 edge in penalty corners.  

The Golden Flashes return to action tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. when they face No. 12 James Madison.

Michigan State 4, Central Michigan 2
EAST LANSING, Mich. ‹ The Central Michigan field hockey team stood toe-to-toe with No. 7 Michigan State in its season-opener, but a pair of late MSU goals sent CMU to a 4-2 loss at the Champions Invitational on Saturday.

The Chippewas (0-1) will play No. 13 Louisville on Sunday at 11:30 a.m.

Michigan State's Joelle van Ierland opened the scoring in the sixth minute by firing a pass in front of the goal to make it 1-0.

CMU answered back with a goal of its own in the 18th minute when Brooke Sihota got her stick on a rebound and fired it into the corner of the net to tie the contest at one apiece.

The match remained tied late in the frame until MSU's Angela Pagura gave the Spartans a 2-1 lead going into halftime.

The Maroon and Gold rallied in the second half as Sihota tallied her second goal of the day off of a penalty corner with 14:38 remaining to even the score at 2-2.

Michigan State regained the lead 42 seconds later as Sabine van den Assem put a shot into the right corner of the net to put the Spartans up for good.

Van den Assem capped the scoring with her second goal with 7:59 remaining to put the contest away.

Michigan State outshot Central, 29-8, and also held a 13-4 edge in penalty corners.

Carissa Flocken made her collegiate debut in goal for CMU. The freshman stopped eight of the 12 shots she faced.

Missouri State 7, Lindenwood (MO) 1
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- A first-half nail biter turned into a second-half rout when the Bears used four goals in five minutes to pull away from the Lindenwood Lions and notch a season-opening win, 7-1.

Junior Sarah Cusick (San Diego, Calif.) and freshman Laura Tavares (Mississauga, Ontario) led the way with two goals and two assists apiece. Tavares was not the only newcomer to get in on the scoring as new additions Casey Bayliss (Jr., Bathurst, NSW, Australia) and Hillary Lawless (Fr., St. Louis, Mo.) combined with veteran Jennifer Portell (Sr., Edwardsville, Ill.) to round out the scoring with a goal each.

Goalkeepers Steph Anderson (So., Pittsburgh, Pa.) and Andrea Bain (Fr., Victoria, B.C) combined to limit the Lions to the lone goal. Anderson kept a clean sheet for the first half before handing it over to Bain who allowed a goal in the second.

The big win was anything but comfortable for the first 48 minutes. Cusick's unassisted goal in the 21st minute opened the game's scoring, but the Lindenwood defense held tough and took the Bears to halftime, 1-0.

Lindenwood's Haley McCulloch tied the match in the 41st minute with a goal that deflected off defender Ramie Masters (So., Huntington Beach, Calif.) and into the back of the cage. The game stayed 1-1 until Tavares scored in the 46th minute to take the lead for good.

From there, the Lions D could no longer keep the Bears offense at bay. Tavares scored again three minutes later and Bayliss, Lawless and Cusick followed in a matter of five minutes to give the Bears a 6-1 cushion. Bayliss, who kept the pressure on all day with six shots, had the most impressive goal when she stole the face-off from the Lindenwood forward, and made a 30-yard run on goal, splitting defenders and firing a shot past the keeper.

Portell scored in the 69th minute for good measure, capping the scoring at 7-1.

The Bears won their first game of the season for the first time since 2008, and improved to 7-1 all-time against fellow Missouri school Lindenwood.

MSU is back in action Sept. 4, when they travel to Hanover, N.H., for a game against Fairfield. Start time in 1 p.m.

Appalachian State 4, Ball State 3 (OT)
Game story coming soon.