Week #1: U-M Begins 2010 with No. 1 UNC, No. 6 Wake Forest

Aug. 24, 2010

Michigan at ACC/Big Ten Challenge
Francis E. Henry Stadium • Chapel Hill, N.C.
Saturday, Aug. 28: U-M at No. 1 North Carolina, Noon • Live Video | Live Stats
Sunday, Aug. 29: U-M vs. No. 6 Wake Forest, 2 p.m. • Live Stats
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Phyllis Ocker Field

The University of Michigan field hockey team (0-0) opens its 38th season of play this weekend at the ACC/Big Ten Challenge at the Francis E. Henry Field in Chapel Hill, N.C. The Wolverines open the Challenge at noon on Saturday (Aug. 28) against the host, defending NCAA champion and top-ranked North Carolina (0-0). Michigan then faces No. 6 Wake Forest (0-0) on Sunday (Aug. 29) at 2 p.m..

The Wolverines are playing in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge for the ninth straight season and the 10th season overall. This also will be the second straight year that U-M has opened with North Carolina and Wake Forest on the schedule. The Maize and Blue are coming off a 3-2 win over Michigan State in exhibition action this past Saturday (Aug. 21) at Phyllis Ocker Field.

Who's Back -- The Wolverines return seven starters and return 10 letterwinners to the 2010 team. Michigan has six of its top seven scorers back in the fold, including Meredith Way (Lititz, Pa./Warwick), who earned All-Big Ten honors after scoring 19 goals in 2009.

Oh Captain, My Captain -- The 2010 Wolverines will be captained by Meredith Way, senior Paige Laytos (Lititz, Pa./Warwick) and senior Zara Saydjari (Skowhegan, Maine/Skowhegan Area). The trio combined to score 25 goals and tally 61 points during the 2009 season. Saydjari scored U-M's first goal in its 3-2 win over Michigan State in exhibition action on Aug. 21, while Way assisted on the Wolverines' second tally in the victory over the Spartans.

Leading the Way -- Meredith Way returns to the field for her senior year after an impressive junior campaign when she led the Wolverines with 19 goals and 43 points, including a five-point effort in the Big Ten Tournament game against Iowa. Way was an All-Big Ten first team selection in 2009, was named to the Big Ten All-Tournament Team and was the conference's Offensive Player of the Week after scoring three goals in wins over Northwestern and Saint Louis on Oct. 3.

Bain Comes Back from Injury -- Junior Bryn Bain (Berlin, N.J./Eastern Regional) returns to the field after missing the final 10 matches of 2009 due to a leg injury suffered in the Northwestern win on Oct. 2, 2009. Before the setback, Bain had five goals and 12 points for the Wolverines, including a four-game goal scoring streak from Sept. 4-13. She has seven goals and 17 total points in her U-M career.

Familiar Face Returns to U-M -- Head coach Marcia Pankratz will have a new face on the coaching staff this season, but she is no stranger to the Maize and Blue. Assistant coach Lucia Belassi White played at U-M from 2004-07 and was the Big Ten Conference Co-Player of the Year in 2007 and earned National Field Hockey Coaches' Association All-America first team honors her senior season. Belassi White was a part of three teams that reached the NCAA Tournament and helped Michigan capture Big Ten regular-season titles in 2004 and 2007.

Quick Hits -- The Wolverines will face 10 teams that are ranked in the Kookaburra/NFHCA Division I Preseason Poll, which was released Aug. 24 ... The Wolverines will have two games televised on the Big Ten Network this season. The Maize and Blue's games at Penn State on Sept. 26 and at Iowa on Oct. 10 will be broadcast in high definition. The BTN also will televise the Big Ten Tournament championship game Nov. 7 ... Michigan has nine freshmen that will be making their first road trip this weekend. In the 3-2 exhibition win over Michigan State, six true freshmen saw playing time, with Mallory Albini (Escondido, Calif./San Pasqual) earning a start and Michelle Roberts (Pocomoke, Md./Pocomoke) scoring a goal in the second period.

U-M in Season Openers -- 19-17-1
U-M in Road Openers -- 19-17-1
U-M vs. North Carolina -- 3-12
U-M vs. Wake Forest -- 3-12

Milestone Watch -- 400, Michigan needs just two more wins to reach the 400-victory mark in the school's history. The Maize and Blue sports a 398-289-25 record heading into the season opener against North Carolina.

Thu., Sept. 2, 3 p.m. -- at Maine (Orono, Maine)
Sun., Sept. 5, Noon -- at Connecticut (Storrs, Conn.)