EAST LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – After suffering its first loss of the season on Friday, the Michigan State field hockey team regrouped and responded with a 6-0 win over Central Michigan on Sunday. It marked the 13th straight win for the Spartans over the Chippewas.
The 25th ranked Spartans started the scoring less than four minutes into the game. Junior midfielder Merel Hanssen got one past the keeper, for her team-leading fifth goal of the season. Then, in the span of 1:05, MSU added another two goals in the quarter, thanks to Nienke Bloemsaat and Meredith Ross, who scored her first goal of the season.
That 3-0 lead at the end of the first quarter was exactly what MSU was looking for coming out of the gate.
“We knew right away that we were going to have to come out hard and play our game,” Ross said. “Doing that right away allowed us to continue that throughout the game. I think that if we would have not come out as hard right away, we might have been more frantic later on. So, we were just able to play a calm and composed game.”
“Today we got back to passing and receiving, it sounds so basic, but simple ball speed set the tone from the start of the game, which helped us create opportunities and stay on the attack,” MSU field hockey coach Helen Knull said.
On the defensive side of things, the Spartans put together their fourth shutout of the season by limiting CMU to just two shots on goal.
“I think offense is the best defense,” Ross said. “We were really able to shut them out on our defense corners, which was really awesome to be able to allow no goals.”
In quarters two and three, both teams were held off the scoreboard, but in the fourth quarter, MSU broke things open by adding another three goals. Ross scored the sixth and final goal.
MSU improves to 6-1 this season (6-0 in non-conference). Next up for Knull and Co. is a trip to Ann Arbor on Friday to take on No. 1 Michigan.