Aug. 27, 2016
» Goalkeeper Sam Swenson posted three saves, and Esther de Leijer tallied a defensive save to earn the shutout victory.
» It is Michigan's first win over a No. 1 team since 2001 and its first win against UNC since 2002.
Site: Winston-Salem, N.C. (Kentner Stadium)
Event: ACC/Big Ten Challenge
Score: #10 Michigan 1, #1 North Carolina 0
Records: U-M (1-0), UNC (0-1)
Next U-M Match: Sunday, Aug. 28 -- at Wake Forest (Winston-Salem, N.C.), 11:30 a.m.
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- Sophomore Emma Way knocked in a corner rebound with time expired to propel the No. 10-ranked University of Michigan field hockey team to a 1-0 win against No. 1 North Carolina in its ACC/Big Ten Challenge opener on Saturday afternoon (Aug. 27) at Wake Forest's Kentner Stadium. It is the Wolverines' first win over a top-ranked team since 2001 and their first win over UNC since 2002.
Way, who missed the entire first half after suffering an injury during warmups, inserted the ball on the penalty corner with time expired and was in the perfect place in front of the cage when junior Katie Trombetta's direct shot was stopped and kicked off UNC goalkeeper Alex Halpin's pads. She corralled the ball and lifted it over the sprawled goalie for the game-winning tally -- officially at the 70:00 mark.
The winning corner conversion came as the second of two penalty corners in the final minute of play and immediately followed Michigan's successful kill off a five-minute yellow card in the waning minutes of regulation.
"We played together as a team -- one Michigan heartbeat," said head coach Marcia Pankratz. "It was a hard-fought battle against Carolina, the No. 1 team in the country; They are incredibly talented. We fought until the very bitter end -- to the very last second of the game. I'm proud of the effort and proud that we executed all the tactics we discussed. It's a big win for us."
The Wolverines set a good early pace in the contest with several opportunities, including a barely-wide shot from senior Courtney Enge in the opening seven minutes -- the first good scoring chance of the game.
Michigan withstood several penalty corners and flurries late in the first half. Junior goalkeeper Sam Swenson made an impressive save on a drag flick attempt and another on a late UNC corner, while graduate student Esther de Leijer followed with a goal-line defensive save to sweep the ball away.
After a lengthy halftime intermission due to a lightning delay, the second half largely mirrored the first. Senior/junior Carly Bennett and de Leijer posted quality scoring opportunities -- a near breakaway on the latter -- while the Wolverine defense held UNC to just one second-half shot.
Shots were an even 7-7 in the contest, while North Carolina held a narrow 5-3 advantage in penalty corners. Swenson earned three saves to claim the shutout victory, while Shannon Johnson and Halpin split time in the UNC cage, with Halpin posting three saves.
GOAL MICHIGAN!!!! Way knocks in the corner rebound. Wolverines knock off No. 1 UNC, 1-0. What an opener! #GoBlue
-- Michigan FieldHockey (@umichfldhockey) August 27, 2016
Michigan will wrap up play at the ACC/Big Ten Challenge tomorrow (Sunday, Aug. 28), squaring off against No. 7 host Wake Forest at 11:30 a.m. at Kentner Stadium. The game will be streamed live on Watch ESPN.
Communications Contact: Leah Howard