Week #6: Michigan Faces Pair of Top-10 Opponents

Sept. 28, 2010

#19 Michigan vs. #6 Michigan State, vs. #1 Maryland
Phyllis Ocker Field • Ann Arbor, Mich.
Friday, Oct. 1: U-M vs. Michigan State, 4 p.m. • Buy Tickets OnlineLive Stats
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Sunday, Oct. 3: U-M vs. Maryland, 1 p.m. • Buy Tickets OnlineLive Stats
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Phyllis Ocker Field

The No. 19-ranked University of Michigan field hockey team (6-4, 1-0 Big Ten) starts a new three-game home stand with two matches against nationally ranked opponents this week. The Wolverines will face in-state and Big Ten rival in No. 6 Michigan State (9-1, 1-0 Big Ten) on Friday (Oct. 1). That game will begin at 4 p.m. at Phyllis Ocker Field. The Maize and Blue returns to the field on Sunday (Oct. 3) against No. 1 Maryland (7-0). That match will begin at 1 p.m.

The Wolverines have won six games in a row and opened Big Ten play on Sunday (Sept. 26) with a 2-0 win at No. 14-ranked Penn State. It was the 16th time in school history that U-M has won its Big Ten lidlifter.

Wolverines Enter NFHCA Coaches Poll at No. 19 -- Michigan earned 160 votes in the Sept. 28 Kookaburra/NFHCA Division I National Coaches poll, good for a No. 19 ranking. It is the first time the Wolverines have been in the top 20 of the poll since Sept. 8, 2009, when U-M was ranked No. 20. There are now four Big Ten teams in the top 20, including Friday's opponent Michigan State, which is No. 6.

No. 1 Heads to Ocker -- Michigan will face the No. 1 team in the country for the second time this season when the Wolverines host No. 1 Maryland this Sunday (Oct. 3). Michigan opened the season at No. 1 North Carolina on Aug. 28. The last time U-M hosted the top-ranked team in the country was on Sept. 2, 2007, and it also was against Maryland. The Terrapins came away with a 3-2 overtime win. Current redshirt senior Paige Laytos (Lititz, Pa./Warwick) had an assist in that game.

Jones Earns Big Ten Weekly Award -- Redshirt freshman goalkeeper Haley Jones (Ann Arbor, Mich./Pioneer) has been named the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week, the conference office announced Monday (Sept. 27). The Wolverines have now earned at least one Player of the Week each of the last three weeks. Jones earns Michigan's first-ever Defensive Player of the Week honor after garnering 12 saves in two wins this past week. [ Release ]

U-M in the Big Ten Rankings -- Senior Alicia Mayer (Selinsgrove, Pa./Selinsgrove) is third in points in the Big Ten through games of Sept. 26. Mayer has six goals and five assists for 17 points. Mayer also is tied for third in goals and tied for eighth in assists in the conference. Freshman Rachael Mack (Bromsgrove, England/Bromsgrove School) is eighth in points (13) and tied for third with six goals. Redshirt senior Paige Laytos is tied for fifth in the conference with six assists. In goal, freshman Haley Jones is second with a 0.92 goals-against average and tied for third with three shutouts on the season.

In-State Rival Opens the Weekend -- Michigan has faced Michigan State more than any other school in program history and the two teams will meet for the 64th time on Friday at Ocker Field. The two teams have played three times in the NCAA Tournament, including a 2-1 U-M win over MSU in the 2001 quarterfinal and a 2-1 win over the Spartans in the 2003 quarterfinal in East Lansing. Michigan faced Michigan State earlier in the season, but it was an exhibition contest won by U-M 3-2 on Aug. 21. Seniors Vanessa Sekhon (West Vancouver, B.C./Collingwood) and Zara Saydjari (Skowhegan, Maine/Skowhegan Area) and freshman Michelle Roberts (Pocomoke, Md./Pocomoke) each had goals for the Wolverines in the exhibition victory.

Mayer Keeps Point Streak Going -- Senior Alicia Mayer (Selinsgrove, Pa./Selinsgrove) takes a six-game point scoring streak into Friday's contest against Michigan State. Mayer scored the game-winning goal in the 2-0 victory at Penn State on Sept. 26 and currently leads the team with 17 points.

Unbeaten at Home -- Michigan improved to 5-0 at Ocker Field with the 2-1 win over New Hampshire on Sept. 24 and has six of the next seven contests in Ann Arbor. The Wolverines are outscoring their opponents 20-7 at home and have 52 penalty corners, compared to 28 by their opponents.

Quick Hits -- Michigan has beaten Maryland just once in school history, but it was a big one. The Wolverines bested the Terrapins 2-0 in the 2001 NCAA Tournament championship game in Kent, Ohio. First-half goals from Adrienne Hortillosa and Kristi Gannon and 11 saves by Maureen Tasch gave U-M its first NCAA national title in the history of U-M women's athletics ... Michigan State and Maryland will be the fourth and fifth top-10 opponents the Wolverines have played this season. Michigan opened 2010 at the ACC/Big Ten Challenge against No. 1 North Carolina and No. 6 Wake Forest. The Maize and Blue also played No. 5 Connecticut on Sept. 5 ... Sekhon scored the game-winning goal in the 2-1 win over New Hampshire. Four of her 10 career goals have been of the game-winning variety.

U-M All-Time vs. Michigan State -- 34-23-6
U-M All-Time vs. Maryland -- 1-9
U-M All-Time vs. the ACC -- 12-39
U-M All-Time vs. the Big Ten -- 94-102-8
U-M All-Time in Big Ten Home Openers -- 15-8-2

Sticking with It Blog: Jess Allen

Friday, Oct. 8, 4 p.m. -- vs. Miami (Ohio) (Phyllis Ocker Field)
Sunday, Oct. 10, Noon CDT -- at Iowa (Iowa City, Iowa)

Contact: Kent Reichert (734) 763-4423