Field Hockey Bears Face Final Road Trip of the Season
SPRINGFIELD -- The field hockey Bears head to Ohio for their final road trip of the season, as they meet up with Mid-American Conference foes Ohio, Saturday, Oct. 9, and Kent State, Sunday, Oct. 10.
The Bears (3-8, 0-2) close the season with six straight home games against MAC opponents, but before they do they face the challenge of visiting the reigning MAC champions Ohio Bobcats (6-7, 2-1) and the perennial power Golden Flashes (7-5, 2-1). The squads are tied for second in the MAC behind Miami (Ohio), and both teams are receiving votes in the 2010 Kookaburra/NFHCA Division I National Coaches Poll.
"They are going to be two very tough matches, especially on the road," head coach Dawn Callahan said. "But the last couple years we have played well at Kent State, so we are looking forward to playing at their place and seeing if we can pull an upset. And the Bobcats, I think the girls are ready to battle up there."
The Bears will battle with a balanced offense featuring five scorers with multiple goals, including team leader Casey Bayliss. The Bathurst, NSW, Australia native leads the team in goals (6), assists (4) and points (16). She is in the top five in the MAC in points, goals per game (0.55) and assists.
Sarah Cusick (Jr., San Diego, Calif.) and Hillary Lawless (Fr., St. Louis, Mo.) complement Bayliss with four goals of their own. The duo also has two assists and is tied for second on the team with 10 points.
Steph Anderson (So., Pittsburgh, Pa.) and Andrea Bain (Fr., Victoria, B.C., Canada) will split time in the cage. Anderson has a .747 save percentage and one shutout on the season, while Bain just enjoyed a week that earned her MAC Defensive Player of the Week honors. She picked up a win against Saint Louis, 5-1, making three saves against the Billikens and directing a defensive end that allowed only six total shots. At Miami, Bain kept the Bears in the game by saving 11 of the RedHawks 14 shots. On the season, she has a .759 save percentage with a 1.91 goals against average and a 2-1 record.
Taylor Brown and Cathryn Altdoerffer lead the Bobcats with nine and seven goals, respectively, while Brooke Edwards is the top distributor with five assists. Courtney Seiders is one of the top goalkeepers in the MAC, boasting a 1.47 goals against average and two shutouts. She leads the conference in save percentage (.770) and saves (67).
For Kent State, 2009 First Team All-MAC Performers Debbie Bell and Rachel Miller once again key a Golden Flashes' offense that leads the league in shots per game (14.58). Bell, coming off her second MAC Offensive Player of the Week award in three weeks, leads the team in goals (8) and points (20) and is tied with Miller for first in assists (4). Miller, the defending MAC Player of the Year, also has four goals.
The Bears split the 2009 season series with the Bobcats, winning 3-2 in overtime at Plaster Field before falling 4-2 in Athens. Kent State swept the series, winning 6-3 in Springfield and 3-2 in Kent. The Bobcats lead the all-time series 16-9-1 and the Golden Flashes own an 18-3-1 advantage.
Start time for Saturday's game is 12 p.m., with Sunday's match being an 11 a.m. start. Live stats will be available through MissouriStateBears.com.