Michigan State and Michigan are set to face off in Big Ten field hockey action on Friday evening, with the No. 1 Wolverines playing host to the No. 25 Spartans in a rivalry that dates back to 1972.
With both teams looking for their seventh win overall and first conference victory of the season, MSU will make the hour-long trek down to Ocker Field where game time is slated for 6 p.m.
Last Time Out
The Spartans rebounded from a 4-3 loss to then-No. 24 Ohio State by taking care of business against Central Michigan, beating the Chippewas by a 6-0 margin on the back of 23 shots on goal compared to CMU’s two shots on net. Senior Meredith Ross tallied her first goal of the season in the first half to cap off a three-goal first quarter for the Spartans, and used a breakaway to notch her second score of the game. The win was also the second combined shutout of the campaign for senior goalkeepers Monique Jardell and Jade Arundell.
Spartans Hold Steady at No. 25
MSU stayed right where it was last week in the latest NFHCA Division I Coaches Poll, coming in at No. 25 with 101 points. The Spartans are one of eight Big Ten teams residing in the Top-25, with Michigan, Iowa (No. 2), Northwestern (No. 3), Penn State (No. 6), Maryland (No. 9), Rutgers (No. 10) and Ohio State (No. 19) all being ranked as well.
Preseason All-Big Ten Picks Leading the Way
After being selected to the Preseason All-Big Ten Team in August, graduate student Maddie Babineau, senior Cara Bonshak and junior Merel Hanssen are matching expectations. After netting one goal across her first two seasons, Hanssen paces the team with five goals and 13 points, while Bonshak has posted new career highs with her four goals and 10 points, ranking second on the team in both categories behind Hanssen. Babineau is not far behind, with the Providence transfer registering two goals and three assists to rank fourth on the team with seven points.
Marcia Pankratz leads the Wolverines in her 22nd season, with her squad paced by Sofia Southam’s 21 points and 10 goals. Southam netted five goals in Michigan’s 12-0 defeat of Ball State on Sept. 10, tied for the Division I single-game high for goals this season. UM started the season with a win over preseason favorite North Carolina and beat then-No. 11 Wake Forest that same weekend, rattling off four more victories after that.
Michigan leads the all-time series with MSU at 46-25-7, with the Wolverines taking the last nine meetings. The Spartans have a record of 10-21-4 at Michigan, with the last MSU win in Ann Arbor coming on Oct. 24, 2014. This will be the first matchup where both schools are ranked since Oct. 6, 2019, when Michigan was No. 9 and MSU sat at No. 24.
MSU heads to Washington, D.C., on Oct. 3 to play at American University. That non-conference showdown is set for a noon start.