Sept. 29, 2013
Site: Evanston, Ill. (Lakeside Field)
Score: #12 Northwestern 4, #19 Michigan 1
Records: U-M (5-5, 0-1 Big Ten), Northwestern (10-2, 2-0 Big Ten)
Next U-M Match: Saturday, Oct. 5 -- vs. Iowa (Phyllis Ocker Field), 1 p.m.
EVANSTON, Ill. -- The No. 19-ranked University of Michigan field hockey team dropped its Big Ten Conference opener, falling to No. 12 Northwestern, 4-1, on Sunday afternoon (Sept. 29) at the Wildcats' Lakeshore Field.
Northwestern struck first, converting on a penalty-stroke opportunity at the 14:12 mark. The stroke followed a flurry in front of the Michigan cage. Fifth-year senior goalkeeper Haley Jones (Ann Arbor, Mich./Pioneer HS) made a great save but U-M couldn't control the rebound and knocked down a Wildcat player in its attempt to clear. Nikki Parsley took the stroke and scored to the left side of the goal.
The Wolverines responded quickly, at 17:26, as senior/junior captain Ainsley McCallister (Ann Arbor, Mich./Huron HS) scored on a shot from the top of the circle, falling as she knocked into the lower right corner of the cage. It was McCallister's third goal of the season.
Jones continued to turn away Wildcat shots, making several spectacular saves, but Northwestern took advantage of a scrum in front of the cage to retake the lead just before the halftime break. The ball kicked out to the left post, where Isabel Flens tapped it into the goal at the 31:47 mark.
The Wolverines threatened throughout the second half, earning back-to-back corners early in the frame and largely possessing the ball in their offensive half, but struggled to get shots off inside the circle.
Northwestern added a pair of insurance goals in the final 10 minutes of regulation to widen the final score. Flens netted her second marker at the 62:06 mark, finishing on a counter-attack opportunity created by Carolin Troncelliti, and Tara Puffenberger closed out the game with a corner goal at 79:56.
The Wildcats outshot the Wolverines, 16-5, and outcornered them, 8-3. Jones earned a season-best nine saves in the U-M cage, while NU's Maddy Carpenter earned none in the winning effort. Northwestern posted a pair of defensive saves.
The Wolverines (5-5, 0-1 Big Ten) will return home next weekend, hosting Iowa on Saturday (Oct. 5) and Ball State on Sunday (Oct. 6) at Phyllis Ocker Field. Both games are slated for 1 p.m. starts.
Scoring, Time (Assist)
1st -- NU, Nikki Parsley, 14:12 (penalty stroke)
1st -- U-M, Ainsley McCallister, 17:26 (unassisted)
1st -- NU, Isabel Flens, 31:47 (Carolin Troncelliti)
2nd -- NU, Flens, 62:06 (Troncelliti)
2nd -- NU, Puffenberg, 69:56 (Julia Retzky, Lisa McCarthy)
Shots: U-M 5, NU 16
Saves: U-M 9 (Haley Jones), NU 0 (Maddy Carpenter)
Defensive Saves: U-M 1, NU 2
Penalty Corners: U-M 3, NU 8
Contact: Leah Howard (734) 763-4423