Sept. 23, 2012
Site: State College, Pa. (Penn State Field Hockey Complex)
Score: #6 Penn State 4, #17 Michigan 3
Records: U-M (6-4, 0-1 Big Ten), Penn State (10-2, 2-0 Big Ten)
Next U-M Match: Friday, Sept. 28 -- vs. Pacific (Phyllis Ocker Field), 4 p.m.
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- The No. 17-ranked University of Michigan field hockey team rallied with goals late in each half but could not overcome a sizable early deficit against No. 6 Penn State, falling 4-3 in its Big Ten Conference opener on Sunday afternoon (Sept. 23) at the PSU Field Hockey Complex.
Penn State, which boasted significant advantages in shots (30-14) and penalty corners (13-3), surged to an early three-goal lead over the game's opening 19 minutes of play. Ashtin Klingler recorded the Nittany Lions' first two markers, deflecting a shot at the 3:57 mark before taking advantage of a scramble in front of the U-M cage to score against at 13:40. Kelsey Amy converted off a PSU penalty-corner opportunity five minutes later, at 18:40, to pad her team's advantage.
Junior Rachael Mack (Bromsgrove, England/Bromsgrove School) put the Wolverines on the board late in the half, scoring twice in the final 15 minutes to secure her third multi-goal effort of the season. Her first goal culminated an offensive onslaught after U-M's first corner opportunity. PSU goalkeeper Ayla Halus stopped a pair of initial shots, before Mack corralled the ball at the top of the box and sent a bouncing shot to the corner of the cage at 20:36.
After Penn State scored on an unassisted effort from Jenna Chrismer, Michigan converted again on a penalty corner at the 27:36 mark to narrow PSU's lead to two goals at halftime. Senior Liesl Morris (Lafayette, N.J./The Taft School) stopped the insertion from senior/junior Leslie Smith (Hummelstown, Pa./Hershey HS) at the top of the circle and passed the ball to Mack, who rocketed it low past a sprawling Halus.
Despite getting outshot 17-6 and outcornered 7-1 in the second half, the Wolverines scored the lone goal of the frame on a successful penalty stroke from Smith with just 15 seconds remaining in the contest. Michigan pulled senior/junior goalkeeper Haley Jones (Ann Arbor, Mich./Pioneer HS) for another attacker but could not get another shot off.
Jones registered a career-best 14 saves in the Wolverine cage, including nine in the second half, while Halus stopped nine of U-M's 12 shots on goal to earn the win for Penn State.
Michigan (6-4, 0-1 Big Ten) return home next Friday (Sept. 28), hosting Pacific at 4 p.m. at Phyllis Ocker Field.
Scoring, Time (Assist)
1st -- PSU, Ashtin Klingler, 3:57 (Hannah Allison)
1st -- PSU, Klingler, 13:40 (Kelsey Amy)
1st -- PSU, Amy, 18:40 (Whitney Reddig)
1st -- U-M, Rachael Mack, 20:36 (unassisted)
1st -- PSU, Jenna Chrismer, 22:13 (unassisted)
1st -- Mack, 27:36 (Liesl Morris, Leslie Smith)
2nd -- U-M, Smith, 69:45 (penalty stroke)
Shots: U-M 14, Penn State 30
Saves: U-M 14 (Haley Jones), Penn State 9 (Ayla Halus)
Defensive Saves: None
Penalty Corners: U-M 3, Penn State 13
Contact: Leah Howard (734) 763-4423