Oct. 2, 2013
Fifth-year senior goalkeeper Haley Jones is starting to hit her stride this season, posting a 1.74 goals-against average and .737 save percentage over the Wolverines' last three weekends of play. An NFHCA All-West Region and All-Big Ten second team selection last season, the Wolverine captain is starting to climb up several Michigan career goalkeeping leaderboards, recently moving to fifth among U-M's all-time shutout leaders (15).
With the Wolverines preparing for just their second two-game homestand of the season, Jones took a few minutes to talk about the goals for the second half of the regular season, her recent play in the cage and the team's excitement to stay in Ann Arbor this weekend.
Ann Arbor, Mich.
Q: We're at the midpoint of the regular season. What's the team's mindset as you look to the second half?
A: We need to start winning. You play sports to compete and to win. The past few losses have been a little rough on us, because we know we could have had a much better outcome against some really good teams. We've played great. That Maryland game was one of our best games. The outcome wasn't what we wanted, but we left the field satisfied with how we played. Our focus now is simple; the one goal is to win. In order to do that we need to play as a team and play like we have nothing to lose -- but at the same time everything to lose.
Q: It's seems like the team's confidence is still strong.
A: Yeah, I think our confidence is good; we're just dealing with a level of frustration. We know we can do it. But now it's not a matter of saying we have potential here and there; now we have to act. That's the toughest part -- we actually have to perform. We're confident. We know we have a good team. We just need to get over the hump and get everything to click. You obviously want that to happen earlier in the season, but you sort of just take it whenever it comes.
Q: You had several pretty good weekends in goal recently. Do you feel like you're playing pretty well right now?
A: If you look at stats, I've done progressively better. We've also been playing better teams, so obviously there's going to be more opportunities for them to shoot. I tend to play really well in situations that are a little stressful with a lot of chaos going on. The less I think the better I play. So, in these times of chaos against good teams, stats are going to show that I made saves. But that's not what I look at. I leave the field knowing we won the game or lost the game and thinking, 'how did we play as a collective unit?' I try to not look at the stats and focus more on the team goal and whole outcome for everybody.
Q: What's the goal for this upcoming weekend?
A: We have to execute. We just need to play simple. We need to play our game, which we've been practicing for almost two months now. So, everybody knows what we have to do; it's just a matter of getting everybody to be on the same page, work hard and just finish.
Q: After so much travel over the first part of the season, are you excited to just stay in Ann Arbor this entire weekend?
A: Absolutely. You don't realize how much traveling takes a toll on you until you do it every weekend. I think when we have these home weekends, it's just great all around. We have the homefield advantage and a great home crowd, and we can stay unpacked for more than just a couple days. So, I think everyone is excited to be here, play a good, tough Big Ten game and just focus on the task at hand.
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