Michigan State 3, Michigan 2

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ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Despite a wild flurry around the Michigan State cage for the final 15 minutes of the game, the No. 5-ranked University of Michigan field hockey team could not overcome a pair of second-half MSU tallies as the Wolverines fell 3-2 to No. 8 Spartans in the NCAA quarterfinal round Sunday (Nov. 14) at Phyllis Ocker Field. Senior captain Adrienne Hortillosa (Chula Vista, Calif./Bonita Vista HS) scored twice in the first half to give U-M a one-goal advantage at halftime.

The Spartans' Ashley Pernicano notched the deciding goal at the 42:54 mark of the contest, tipping a shot from Annabet Beerman high into the top of the U-M cage past a sprawling sophomore Beth Riley (Palmyra, Pa./Palmyra Area HS). Beerman blasted a shot from just outside the right side of the striking circle, finding the stick of Pericano, who was camped out on the left goalpost.

U-M poured on the offense during the closing moments of the contest, registering three shots and five penalty corners, including a pair after time had expired. In the Wolverines' last opportunity to knot up the score, Hortillosa got off a clean shot, but the ball soared just wide of the MSU cage to the right.

The Wolverines had led the game at halftime after controlling the play through much of the first half with a 6-3 advantage in shots and a 3-1 edge in corners. Hortillosa opened scoring at 17:30 after getting her stick on a hard shot by senior Jessica Blake (Perth, Western Australia/St. Mary's Anglican) from just outside the striking circle, redirecting the ball high into the MSU cage past goalkeeper Christina Kirkaldy.

After Beerman knotted the score at one goal apiece at the 20:20 mark on a hard shot from the top of the circle, Hortillosa responded just 1:02 later with her second tally following a U-M corner. With sophomore Kara Lentz (Manchester, Mass./St. Paul's School) and junior Lori Hillman (Gibbsboro, N.J./Eastern Regional HS) earning assists off the push-in and stop, Hortillosa made good on a sweeping shot from the high left side of the circle, finding the lower left corner past Kirkaldy.

The Spartans came out aggressively in the second half, swarming around the U-M cage to even the score at 2-2 just 2:08 into the frame. Veerle Goudswaard carried the ball down the right side of the field and, after crossing into the cirlce, took a hard, low shot that found the lower left corner.

Total shots in the contest were an even 10-10, while the Wolverines out-cornered Michigan State by a 9-1 margin. Riley and Kirkaly each earned two saves in the cages, with both of Riley's coming in the second half and Kirkaldy's pair in the opening 35 minutes.

The Wolverines finish the season with a 17-6 record and their sixth straight NCAA Tournament appearance, as well as both the Big Ten Conference regular-season (tri-champion) and tournament titles.

-- Courtesy Michigan