Smith's Hat Trick Propels U-M Past Delaware in Home Opener
Leslie Smith

Sept. 1, 2012

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Site: Ann Arbor, Mich. (Phyllis Ocker Field)
Score: #10 Michigan 4, Delaware 1
Records: U-M (1-2), Delaware (0-4)
Next U-M Match: Sunday, Sept. 2 -- vs. #22 Maine (Phyllis Ocker Field), 2 p.m.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Junior/sophomore Leslie Smith (Hummelstown, Pa./Hershey HS) netted her career first hat trick to headline the University of Michigan field hockey team's 4-1 win over Delaware in its home opener Saturday afternoon (Sept. 1) at Phyllis Ocker Field. The Wolverines scored two goals in each half to claim their first win of the 2012 season.

Michigan (1-2) took advantage of penalty-corner opportunities to net both of its first-half tallies. Smith opened scoring at the 3:52 mark, corralling the rebound from freshman Lauren Thomas' (Aylesbury, England/Aylesbury HS) direct shot along the left post and sweeping a low shot into the opposite corner.

The Wolverines struck again in similar fashion late in the frame. Junior Rachael Mack (Bromsgrove, England/Bromsgrove School) fired a direct shot onto goal, and the rebound kicked out to the right side of the circle. Freshman Aisling Naughton (Goatstown, Ireland/Mount Anville Secondary) rushed into the scrum to the side of the cage and shoveled the ball past Delaware's sprawling goalkeeper, Megane Simons, at 26:31.

Smith's second goal came at 44:55 on a designed penalty corner as Mack, instead of taking the direct shot at the top of the circle, fed Smith the ball along the left post, and the Wolverine sophomore lifted it high over Simons. Smith capped the hat trick less than eight minutes later on a penalty stroke, firing the ball past Simons to the lower left corner.

Delaware narrowed the final score at the 60:16 mark, converting on a give-and-go in front of the Wolverine cage. Tory Sharpless earned the goal for the Blue Hens, lifting a shot high from the right side.

U-M outshot the Blue Hens, 14-5, and narrowly outcornered them, 5-4. Senior/junior Haley Jones (Ann Arbor, Mich./Pioneer HS) did not see a shot on goal in the winning effort, while Delaware's Simons collected six saves on Michigan's 10 shots on goal.

The Wolverines will wrap up the weekend tomorrow (Sunday, Sept. 2), matching up against No. 22 Maine at 2 p.m. at Phyllis Ocker Field.


By Periods 1 2 F
Delaware 0 1 1
Michigan 2 2 4

Scoring, Time (Assist)
1st -- U-M, Leslie Smith, 3:52 (unassisted)
1st -- U-M, Aisling Naughton, 26:31 (unassisted)
2nd -- U-M, Smith, 44:55 (Rachael Mack)
2nd -- U-M, Smith, 52:16 (penalty stroke)
2nd -- Delaware, Tory Sharpless, 60:16 (Kasey Prettyman)

Shots: U-M 14, Delaware 5
Saves: U-M 0 (Haley Jones, Adrianna Crovo), Delaware 6 (Megane Simons)
Defensive Saves: None
Penalty Corners: U-M 5, Delaware 4

Contact: Leah Howard (734) 763-4423