Nov. 14, 2009

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - Michigan State used a four goal performance from senior Floor Rijpma (Bunnik, Netherlands) and lockdown defense to defeat Delaware 7-0 Saturday (Nov. 14) afternoon in Charlottesville, Va. With the victory, the Spartans advance to the round of eight for the second consecutive year. The Spartans will meet Virginia tomorrow at 2 PM with a Final Four berth at stake.

"It's nice when you are playing your best hockey during the tournament," said head coach Rolf van de Kerkhof. "We played our best game of the season today."

The Spartans started the game strong with a goal from Rijpma just over a minute into the game. Rijpma was on the scoreboard again less than five minutes later when she took a beautiful pass from junior Jantine Steinmetz (Amstelveen, Netherlands) and rocketed it into the back of the cage giving the Spartans a 2-0 advantage. Rijpma completed her hat trick at the 11 minute mark when she beat the Delaware keeper off a pass from freshman Manouk Vernij (Bleiswijk, Netherlands). Vernij added a goal of her own at the 21 minute mark to give the Spartans a 4-0 lead entering halftime.

The Spartans started the second half strong as well with Rijpma adding her fourth goal of the game less than five minutes into the second frame. Junior Joelle van Ierland (Den Dolder, Netherlands) added her first goal of the season at the 51 minute mark making the score 6-0 in favor of the Spartans. Senior Jeamie Deacon (Wexford, Ireland) closed the scoring for the Spartans when she scored off a penalty corner in the 69th minute capping off the 7-0 victory.

"I feel like we are playing our best hockey of the season right now," van de Kerkhof said. "We got to rotate a lot of players today and keep everyone fresh and that will hopefully put us in a good position as we prepare for Virginia tomorrow."

The Spartans, who improve to 18-3 on the season, will look to make their third Final Four in school history when they take on Virginia at 2 PM tomorrow in Charlottesville.