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Field hockey team signs five recruits

March 29, 2001

Five recruits have signed letters of intent to join the Spartan field hockey team next fall.

Jaqueline Ahinga, Christina Kirkaldy, Kelly Collier, Katie Minns and Michelle Carstens will start their collegiate careers suiting up for the Spartans.

Ahinga and Collier will bolster the team’s backfield and have a chance to contribute defensively.

Head coach Michele Madison said she expects the freshman defenders to have an immediate impact.

“We look for the freshman to help us defensively from the start,” she said.

“Kelly has a great attitude and desire to play for the Spartans. Jaqueline’s skills are the result of many years of field hockey for her age.”

The defense also will be helped by Kirkaldy’s presence in goal.

Kirkaldy adds national and international experience to the Spartan team.

Academics and a friendly environment contributed to Kirkaldy’s decision to join the Spartans, but she said the Spartans can help her meet her own personal goals, as well as the team’s.

“I also want to improve my skills as much as possible as a goalie so I can become even better,” she said. “And to contribute as much as possible to the team to help them reach their goals as well as mine.”

Kirkaldy’s presence in the net will only help the Spartan defense, Madison said.

“Aside from athletic abilities and skills, she possesses a demand of the circle rare in young goalkeepers,” she said.

Minns, the lone midfield recruit, used her speed and athleticism en route to leading her high school team to the Ohio state semi-finals in 2000.

“Katie can cover a lot of ground quickly,” Madison said. “Her speed and dynamic movements will be effective at MSU.”

The front-line Spartan attack will be helped by the addition Carstens, one of the leading scorers in Illinois during the 2000 season.

Carstens hockey skills are not only shown on the turf, but on the ice as well - skills Madison said “made her strong and tough.”

“She can shoot herself or dish off to a teammate in a better scoring position,” Madison said.

Madison said the addition of the five freshman meshes well with a team that finished 11-9 overall, 2-4 in the Big Ten.

“This class and the returning team compliment each other well,” she said.

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