Week #1: U-M to Open 2012 Season at ACC/Big Ten Challenge

Aug. 21, 2012

• Season Preview: Video | Coach Pankratz Interview

ACC/Big TenChallenge
Saturday, Aug. 25 -- vs. No. 2 North Carolina (Winston-Salem, N.C), 11:30 a.m.
Live Stats
Sunday, Aug. 26 -- at No. 13 Wake Forest (Winston-Salem, N.C), 11:30 a.m.
Live Stats

The No. 10-ranked University of Michigan field hockey team (0-0) will kick off its 40th season of intercollegiate competition Saturday and Sunday (Aug. 25-26) at the 2012 Big Ten/ACC Challenge at Kentner Stadium in Winston-Salem, N.C. The Wolverines will open play against No. 2 North Carolina at 11:30 a.m. on Saturday before returning the following day for an 11:30 a.m. contest with host Wake Forest, ranked 13th.

Now in its 11th season, the ACC/Big Ten Challenge has proven to be the premier early-season field hockey tournament on the collegiate slate. Three of the four participating schools -- U-M, Iowa and North Carolina -- competed in the 2011 NCAA Tournament, with the Tar Heels advancing to the championship game. The four teams have combined to win 36 conference titles and 21 national championships.

Complete Stats: 2011 Final Statistics

Returning Leaders
Rachael Mack2217337
Emy Guttman2211325
Axelle Wouters187317
Haley Jones149-31.55.535

Michigan Ranked 10th in Preseason Poll -- Michigan is ranked 10th in the 2012 Penn Monto/NFHCA Division I preseason poll, announced Aug. 21. The Wolverines earned 426 points in the poll. Maryland earned the top spot in the preseason poll with 815 points and 17 first-place votes. It was followed by Saturday's opponent North Carolina, which had 799 points and 15 first-place votes. Old Dominion, Princeton and Duke round out the top five. Michigan is one of five Big Ten teams in the top 20, joining Penn State (No. 9), Iowa (No. 12), Ohio State (No. 15) and Northwestern (No. 20). Michigan also plays nine teams ranked in the preseason poll in 2012.

How I Spent My Summer Vacation -- Junior Ainsley McCallister (Ann Arbor, Mich./Huron HS) and senior Liesl Morris (Lafayette, N.J./The Taft School) competed on the Midwest High Performance team at the 2012 U.S. Women's National Championships in June in College Park, Md. McCallister and Morris (along with volunteer coach Maren Langford) played in five games against stellar competition, including players that represented the United States at the 2012 Summer Olympics. [ Player Q&A ]

Wolverines Win Unofficial Opener -- Michigan scored twice in the second half to rally past intrastate rival Michigan, 2-1, in exhibition action last Saturday (Aug. 18). Junior Michelle Roberts (Pocomoke, Md./Pocomoke HS) and junior/sophomore Leslie Smith (Hummelstown, Pa./Hershey HS) notched the Wolverines' goals on a corner and penalty stroke, respectively; the latter goal netted U-M its first lead at the 60:03 mark. Sophomore/freshman goalkeeper Adrianna Crovo (Los Angeles, Calif./Harvard-Westlake HS) registered three saves on four MSU shots on goal. [ Full Recap ]

Captain's Log -- For the first time in program history, the U-M captaincy will be shared among four student-athletes -- senior/junior Haley Jones, junior Rachael Mack, junior Ainsley McCallister and senior Liesl Morris.

Calling the Shots -- Head coach Marcia Pankratz enters her 13th season as head coach of the Michigan field hockey team, compiling a 184-83 record, including a 57-25 Big Ten mark over her tenure. A five-time Big Ten Coach of the Year honoree, Pankratz has guided the Wolverines to seven Big Ten regular-season titles and four tournament crowns and, in 2001, led U-M to the NCAA title -- the first by a women's team in the history of Michigan athletics. During her tenure, Michigan had 17 different players combine for 26 All-America citations. U-M also claimed 12 Big Ten Player of the Year awards -- offensive, defensive and athlete -- and Wolverine players swept the yearly honors in 2002, 2003 and 2004.

U-M All-Time in Season Openers -- 19-19-1
U-M All-Time vs. North Carolina -- 3-14
U-M All-Time vs. Wake Forest -- 4-13
U-M All-Time vs. the ACC --13-41

Facebook: Connect with the program, alumni and fans by clicking the "Like" button at facebook.com/michiganfieldhockey. Facebook is a social network service and website with more than 500 million active users.

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Saturday, Sept. 1 -- vs. Delaware (Ocker Field), 2 p.m.
Sunday, Sept. 2 -- vs. Maine (Ocker Field), 2 p.m.

Contact: Leah Howard (734) 763-4423