Aug 27, 2013
The No. 9-ranked University of Michigan field hockey team (0-0) will kick off the 2013 season, its 41st season of intercollegiate competition, with a pair of non-conference games this weekend at the Maine Field Hockey Complex in Orono, Maine. U-M will face No. 14 Massachusetts (0-0) on Saturday (Aug. 31) at 1 p.m. before playing host Maine (0-0) on Sunday (Sept. 1) at 1 p.m.
Michigan owns an all-time record of 19-20-1 in season openers. With the annual ACC/Big Ten Challenge slated for the second weekend of the year, it will be the first time since 2001 that U-M will not open the season against perennial power North Carolina.
Head coach Marcia Pankratz enters the season with a 199-90 career record. She will be the 32nd NCAA Division I coach to reach 200 career wins. Among current active coaches, Pankratz ranks 18th in total wins and ninth in career winning percentage (.691).
The Wolverines welcome nine newcomers to the 2013 squad -- eight freshmen and a grad-student transfer. The rookie class combined for four NFHCA All-Region citations and five all-state accolades during their prep careers, while Morgan Dever, Allie Sardo and Eliza Stein earned Futures Elite selection. Michigan's newcomers also include a pair of European players -- freshman Sina Lampe and graduate student Alice Brown, who played three seasons with England's University of Birmingham.
Senior Rachael Mack has led the Wolverines in scoring each of the last three seasons and enters her final collegiate season with 52 career goals and 118 career points. She already ranks third among U-M's all-time goals leaders, needing 16 to reach program record holder April Fronzoni (68, 2000-03) and lists fourth among Michigan's points leaders -- 37 shy of record holder Fronzoni (155).
Senior/junior captain Ainsley McCallister earned her first international experience this summer, contributing to the U.S. Under-21 team's seventh-place performance at the Junior World Cup in Monchengladbach, German. McCallister appeared in all six games for Team USA, which posted a 3-3 record with a 4-2 victory over South Africa in its final match. The seventh-place finish matched the U.S. junior program's best finish in six appearances at the prestigious world event.
[ Junior World Cup Recap | McCallister Q&A ]
Michigan earned the No. 9 ranking in the 2013 NFHCA Preseason Poll, released Aug. 27, and lists second among Big Ten teams. U-M finished ninth in the final poll of 2012. The Wolverines will face eight teams featured in the top-20 preseason poll this season, most notably No. 1 North Carolina and No. 2 Maryland.
2012 SEASON RECAP
Michigan took advantage of an incredible second-half surge to propel its young 2012 squad to a 15-7 season record, second-place finishes in both the Big Ten regular-season standings and at the annual tournament and the program's third straight -- and 11th overall -- NCAA Tournament appearance. The Wolverines won eight of their final 10 games of the season, including regular-season conference wins over Michigan State, Ohio State, Indiana and Iowa. For the third straight season, the Wolverines traveled to Chapel Hill, N.C., to play in the NCAA Tournament, where they fell to Old Dominion in the first round.
Rachael Mack, who led U-M in scoring with 19 goals and 45 points, was named to the Longstreth/NFHCA All-America team and became just the third three-time All-American in program history. Haley Jones, Leslie Smith and Lauren Thomas were selected to the NFHCA All-West Region second team.
ACC/BIG TEN CHALLNEGE
Saturday, Sept. 7 -- vs. North Carolina (Iowa City, Iowa), 2 p.m. CDT
Sunday, Sept. 8 -- vs. Wake Forest (Iowa City, Iowa), 2 p.m. CDT