Sept. 24, 2013
Inside Michigan Field Hockey
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Friday, Sept. 27 -- vs. Missouri State (Phyllis Ocker Field), 4 p.m.
Sunday, Sept. 29 -- at No. 12 Northwestern (Evanston, Ill.), Noon CDT
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The No. 19-ranked University of Michigan field hockey team (4-4, 0-0 Big Ten) will play two games this weekend, returning home on Friday (Sept. 27) to host Missouri State (1-6) at 4 p.m. at Phyllis Ocker Field before traveling to Evanston, Ill., to kick off the Big Ten Conference season against No. 12 Northwestern (8-2, 0-0 Big Ten) at noon CDT on Sunday (Sept. 29).
The Wolverines have placed among the top two in the Big Ten standings in each of the last three seasons, winning back-to-back titles in 2010 and 2011 before claiming runner-up honors last year with a 4-2 record. Michigan boasts eight Big Ten titles in program history, including four outright trophies. U-M is 16-13-2 all-time in Big Ten openers.
The Wolverines remain undefeated at home in 2013 after back-to-back wins against No. 16 Louisville (1-0, Sept. 14) and UC Davis (6-1, Sept. 15). With the victories, Michigan improved to 132-43 at its home facility since its 1995 inauguration, including a 12-7 mark in home openers at Ocker Field. Last season, five of the Wolverines' 10 home games were against ranked teams. U-M completed the home portion of its schedule with an 8-1 mark and three shutout victories, outscoring its opponents, 34-8.
Senior Rachael Mack scored three goals in the first half at William & Mary (Sept. 20) to secure the sixth hat trick of her collegiate career.
Senior/junior Leslie Smith and sophomore Emy Guttman are the only other current Wolverines to boast a collegiate hat trick.
Mack upped her career point total to 139 to move to second among U-M's all-time leaders in the category, passing Mary Callam (136, 1978-80). She is now 16 points shy of school-record holder April Fronzoni (155, 2000-03).
Mack leads the Big Ten Conference in several offensive statistics, including goals (9) and points (21). Mack has scored at least one goal in six of eight games this season. She also shares the eighth spot among the national goals-per-game leaders (1.13).
Senior/junior Leslie Smith posted a career-best three assists at William & Mary (Sept. 20), upping her season total to eight helpers -- only four shy of her 2012 total. She leads the nation in assists per game (1.00), sharing the top spot with three other players. With 23 career assists, Smith is also just three shy of cracking U-M's top-10 leaders in the all-time category.
Eight different Michigan players have scored at least one goal this season. Six different Wolverines scored in U-M's last home game, a 6-1 decision vs. UC Davis (Sept. 15), including freshman Eliza Stein, who netted the first goal of her collegiate career.
With two goals already on the season, sophomore Shannon Scavelli has already doubled her career goal tally. She posted two goal and two assists in her rookie campaign.
Fifth-year senior goalkeeper Haley Jones earned a season-best seven saves in the Wolverines' loss at No. 2 Maryland (Sept. 22). Jones ranks second in the Big Ten with 34 saves this season and leads the league with 4.25 saves per game.
Michigan has matched or outshot seven of eight opponents this season and outcornered seven of eight opposing teams.
SCOUTING THE OPPOSITION
Missouri State -- The Bears carry a 1-6 record into the weekend and have lost five straight, including a 1-0 road defeat to Bryant University in their most-recent appearance last Saturday (Sept. 21). Hillary Lawless leads MSU with a pair of goals, while Andrea Bain has posted the bulk of time in the cage, posting a 4.09 goals-against average and .578 save percentage. The Wolverines claimed the only previous meeting against Missouri State, earning a 5-2 victory in 2002.
Northwestern -- The Wildcats are 8-2 on the season after splitting a pair of non-conference games last weekend, defeating Duke (3-2, Sept. 20) before falling to Virginia (2-1, Sept. 22). Senior Nikki Parsley, a two-time All-Big Ten first team selection, currently leads Northwestern in scoring with seven goals and two assists, while junior Maddy Carpenter boasts a league-leading 0.98 goals-against average and .773 save percentage. Michigan trails in the all-time series against Northwestern, 29-22, but has been the dominant team of late, winning 20 straight meetings -- since 1997 -- until the Wildcats snapped the streak with a 4-1 decision last year in Ann Arbor.
LAST TIME OUT
The Wolverines split their East Coast road trip last weekend, defeating William & Mary (5-3, Sept. 20) before falling to No. 2-ranked Maryland (2-0, Sept. 22) in the last non-conference meeting between the rival schools. Michigan boasted the bulk of its scoring in the first half at W&M, netting four in the frame, while the Terrapins did the same to U-M with two first-half markers in the weekend finale. Senior Rachael Mack posted three goals in the first half against the Tribe, while sophomore Shannon Scavelli and Lauren Thomas tallied one apiece. Fifth-year senior Haley Jones registered 12 saves on the weekend, including a season-best seven against Maryland. [ Recaps: William & Mary | Maryland ]
Saturday, Oct. 5 -- vs. Iowa (Phyllis Ocker Field), 1 p.m.
Sunday, Oct. 6 -- vs. Ball State (Phyllis Ocker Field), 1 p.m.