Sept. 25, 2012
The No. 17-ranked University of Michigan field hockey team (6-4) will kick off a four-game homestand on Friday (Sept. 28), hosting Pacific (3-6) at 4 p.m. at Phyllis Ocker Field. The Wolverines boast a perfect 4-0 record on home this season.
SCOUTING THE OPPOSITION
Pacific -- The Tigers enter the weekend with a 3-6 record after dropping each of its last three meetings, including a 4-3 defeat against UC Davis last Sunday (Sept. 23). Paige Counsman and Melissa Maultsby lead Pacific with four goals each, while three additional players own three apiece. The Tigers have played three different goalkeepers on the season, most successfully Maggie Corder, who is 3-1 with a 2.90 goal-against average and .699 save percentage. Michigan owns a perfect 6-0 record in the all-time series against Pacific, earning a 3-2 decision in the most-recent meeting -- a 2005 neutral-site contest.
MICHIGAN BY THE NUMBERS:
Complete Stats: Through Sept. 23
REWIND: Wolverines Split Games in Keystone State
Michigan split its pair of weekend contests, defeating Bucknell, 2-0, for its second consecutive shutout victory last Saturday (Sept. 22) before falling just short in a 4-3 loss at No. 6 Penn State in its Big Ten Conference opener Sunday (Sept. 23). The Wolverines scored a goal per half against Bucknell, while senior/junior goalkeeper Haley Jones (Ann Arbor, Mich./Pioneer HS) stopped all three shots on goal she faced. In the second slate, U-M trailed 3-0 after 19 minutes of play against the Nittany Lions but rallied with two goals from junior Rachael Mack (Bromsgrove, England/Bromsgrove School) late in the first half. Junior/sophomore Leslie Smith (Hummelstown, Pa./Hershey HS) scored on a last-second penalty stroke in the second to narrow the final score. [ Recaps: Bucknell | Penn State ]
Homecoming -- The Wolverines remain undefeated at home in 2012 after back-to-back wins against Saint Louis (6-2, Sept. 15) and No. 23 Fairfield (5-0, Sept. 16). Michigan is 126-42 record at its home facility since its 1995 inauguration. Last season, six of the Wolverines 10 home games were against ranked teams, including three ranked among the nation's top 10. U-M completed the home portion of its schedule with an 8-2 mark and five shutout victories, outscoring its opponents 28-12 at Ocker Field.
New Faces, New Team -- Nine Wolverine rookies -- six true freshmen and three redshirts -- have appeared in games this season. Five have started at least six games, most notably freshmen Shannon Scavelli (Yorktown Heights, N.Y./Lakeland Shrub Oak HS) and Lauren Thomas (Aylesbury, England/Aylesbury HS), who have started every game this season. Freshman Aisling Naughton (Goatstown, Ireland/Mount Anville Secondary), who has started nine games, ranks among U-M's scoring leaders with three goals and two assists.
Career Year -- Senior Liesl Morris (Lafayette, N.J./The Taft School) already has career highs in all scoring categories this season. After entering the season with no career goals or assists, the Wolverine captain stands among U-M's scoring leaders with one goal, six assists and eight points. As Michigan's stopper on penalty corners, she notched her first collegiate helper in the season opener against North Carolina on Aug. 25 and scored her first goal three games later against Maine on Sept. 2.
Going Streaking -- Junior Rachael Mack (Bromsgrove, England/Bromsgrove School), Michigan's leading scorer in each of the last two years, notched three goals over the weekend road swing (Sept. 22-23), scoring one against Bucknell and posting two goals against No. 6 Penn State. Mack extended her scoring streak to six straight games, boasting 10 goals over the stretch. Adding two assists, she has registered a point in each of the last eight games. Mack boasts 11 multi-goal games in her career.
Climbing the Charts -- With her three markers over the weekend, junior Rachael Mack upped her career goal total to 43 and took sole possession of sixth place among Michigan's all-time leaders in the category. She needs just one more to reach the fifth spot, currently held by Molly Powers (44, 1999-2002). Three-time All-American April Fronzoni (2000-03) owns the U-M record with 68 career goals.
Stroke of Genius -- Junior/sophomore Leslie Smith successfully converted on a penalty stroke in the closing minute of play at No. 6 Penn State (Sept. 23) to improve to 2-for-2 on stroke opportunities this season. She also scored another, unofficially, in U-M's preseason exhibition contest against Michigan State. Smith has already matched Michigan's penalty-stroke total from last season when Bryn Bain went 2-for-3. Prior to last season, Meredith Way took the bulk of the Wolverines' penalty-stroke opportunities, going 5-for-7 from 2008-10.
Saving Grace -- Senior/junior goalkeeper Haley Jones posted a career-best 14 saves, including nine in the second half, in the Wolverines' 4-3 loss at No. 6 Penn State (Sept. 23). Jones, who entered the 2012 season personal single-game standard of eight saves, has surpassed 10 saves in three games this season. Prior to Sunday, her previous best was 11 saves, which she recorded in back-to-back games against Albany and Connecticut (Sept. 7-8).
Shutdown and Shutout -- Senior/junior goalkeeper Haley Jones recorded the ninth complete shutout of her collegiate career in a 2-0 win at Bucknell (Sept. 22). Jones also contributed to Michigan's 5-0 victory against No. 23 Fairfield the previous weekend. The Wolverines boast three shutout wins on the season. Conversely, they have not been held scoreless since falling to Stanford, 3-0, on Oct., 30, 2011.
Setting Goals -- Eleven different Wolverine players have scored this season, including six who have registered their first collegiate goal -- senior Liesl Morris, junior/sophomore Sammy Gray (Wilmette, Ill./North Shore Country Day School), sophomore/freshman Lauren Kent (Los Gatos, Calif./Los Gatos) and freshmen Aisling Naughton, Shannon Scavelli and Lauren Thomas.
It's Tricky -- Junior Rachel Mack scored Michigan's first three goals in its 6-2 rout against Saint Louis (Sept. 15) to secure the fifth hat trick of her collegiate career. The hat trick was also the second for U-M this season. Junior/sophomore Leslie Smith scored three goals in the home opener vs. Delaware. Sophomore Emy Guttman (Ann Arbor, Mich./Pioneer HS) is the only other current Wolverine to boast a collegiate hat trick; she scored three of U-M's five goals in a 5-0 shutout against Bucknell last season.
Needing Extra Time -- Michigan was victorious in its first overtime game of the season, defeating No. 21 Albany, 2-1, on a penalty corner at 76:46. Over the last three seasons, the Wolverines have posted a stellar 8-1 overtime record, including a perfect 5-0 mark in 2010. U-M was 0-3 in overtime games the previous year (2009).
In the Polls -- Michigan held on to the No. 17 spot in the latest Penn Monto/NFHCA Division I preseason poll, released Tuesday (Sept. 25). Five of U-M's 10 opponents this season remain ranked, including current No. 2 North Carolina and No. 5 Connecticut. Six Big Ten Conference schools appear among the nation's top-25 teams. For the complete NFHCA team rankings, visit NFHCA.org .
Calling the Shots -- Head coach Marcia Pankratz is in her 13th season as head coach of the Michigan field hockey team, compiling a 190-87 record, including a 57-26 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.
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Friday, Oct. 5 -- vs. Northwestern (Phyllis Ocker Field), 4 p.m.
Contact: Leah Howard (734) 763-4423