Oct. 16, 2012
The No. 15-ranked University of Michigan field hockey team (9-5, 2-2 Big Ten) will travel to Bloomington, Ind., next Friday (Oct. 19) to face Indiana at 4 p.m. at the IU Field Hockey Complex before wrapping up the home portion of the 2012 regular-season schedule with a 1 p.m. game against Miami (Ohio) on Sunday (Oct. 21) at Ocker Field.
Sunday's match will be Senior Day. Join us in congratulating the Michigan field hockey senior class and cheering the Wolverines on to victory in their final regular-season home game. Sunday will also mark Michigan's second camper reunion. An email will be sent to all 2012 Michigan field hockey campers with redemption instructions. Be sure to wear your gear, bring your stick, and check in at the marketing table when you arrive at the game -- there may be an opportunity for you to play on the field during halftime!
U-M leads the all-time series against Indiana, 10-7. The Wolverines own a two-game winning streak in the series, claiming a 4-2 home decision in last season's meeting.
Michigan is 15-2 all-time against Miami (Ohio). U-M has won the last three straight meetings, earning a 5-1 decision on the road last year.
The Wolverines will honor their lone senior, Liesl Morris, prior to Sunday's game vs. Miami (Ohio). After entering the season with no career points, she has tallied one goal and eight assists while starting all 14 Michigan games in 2012.
Michigan outscored its weekend (Oct. 12-14) opposition 5-0 after halftime. The Wolverines have controlled second-half play all season, posting a 22-12 goal margin. They are also a perfect 2-0 in overtime contests.
Junior Rachael Mack notched three goals over the weekend, including two against Ohio State, to extend her scoring streak to 10 straight games. She also upped her career goal total to 48, moving to fourth among Michigan's all-time leaders in the category. She needs just one more to reach the third position, currently held by Kelly Gannon (49, 1997-2000).
Freshman Aisling Naughton secured her second Big Ten Freshman of the Week accolade of the season after posting the Wolverines' overtime game-winner at 73:58 against Michigan State (Oct. 12) and adding an assist on U-M's first goal vs. Ohio State (Oct. 14).
With 79 saves this season, senior/junior goalkeeper Haley Jones has nearly doubled her previous career high (44, 2010). She has posted double-digit saves in four games this season, including 14 against Penn State on Sept. 23 and owns a career-best .775 save percentage on the year.
Twelve different Wolverine players have scored this season, including seven who have registered their first collegiate goal -- most recently freshman Jaime Dean, who notched a second-half marker against Pacific on Sept. 28.
Junior/sophomore Leslie Smith successfully converted on a penalty stroke late against Pacific (Sept. 28) to improve to 3-for-3 on stroke opportunities this season. She also scored another, unofficially, in U-M's preseason exhibition contest against Michigan State. She has already surpassed Michigan's penalty-stroke total from last season when Bryn Bain went 2-for-3.
IN THE SPOTLIGHT
| Rachael Mack |
Q: Did winning the two big rivalry games over the weekend give this team a big shot of adrenaline going into the last two regular-season weekends?
A: Definitely. Two wins are always very exciting, especially when they're against two of your biggest rivals. With our last two Big Ten games coming, we obviously want to win them as well. We're going to just take the positives from this weekend and bring out the negatives and work on them this week in practice leading up to these next few games.
Q: One the major emphases this season have been playing a full 70-minute game. But what can you take from playing such strong second halves over the weekend?
A: We have been struggling with that a little bit -- our first half hasn't been great or we'll have a 10-minute lull somewhere. But I definitely think that even if we aren't playing our A game, we're a team that can work together and work for each other to make the win happen. I think we experienced that this weekend. Our first half against Michigan State was not our best hockey, but despite that we brought it back, worked together and wanted to win so much that we made it happen. I think that's really exciting.
Q: Do you think the youth of the team contributes to the never-give-up mentality?
A: Despite the freshmen being young, they have to learn quickly, and I think they've been doing that really well over the past couple weeks. This past weekend, we needed to win, and they helped us do it; they really stepped it up. They're having to learn and learn quickly, and they're doing it really well. I think the never-give-up attitude is something we'd really like to continue to work on and continue to build.
Q: You're starting to climb to the upper rungs Michigan's career goals ladder. Are you paying any attention to that and are you enjoying that?
A: It's really exciting. One of my favorite things -- possibly my favorite thing -- about hockey is scoring goals. I love doing it. My dad loves it when I score goals and he really wants me break that record that April Fronzoni set. It's really exciting to think that I'm closing in on it. Each game I just want to keep scoring and hopefully set that new record.
Q: What's the key to scoring so many goals?
A: I think being in the right place at the right time has a lot to do with it but also just wanting the ball a lot more than anybody else. The best goal scorers don't necessarily have to smack the ball really hard every time. They just use skill selection and small, little short skills in the heat of the moment to just put it in the back of the net. I think skill selection is a big part of it and just wanting to put the ball in the back of the net for the team.
LAST TIME OUT
The Wolverines earned a pair of weekend rivalry wins, defeating Michigan State (3-2 OT, Oct. 12) and Ohio State (3-1, Oct. 14) to improve to 2-2 in Big Ten play and close out their recent four-game homestand. Down two goals at halftime against the Spartans, U-M picked up two goals early in the second, before freshman Aisling Naughton netted the game-winner 3:58 into the sudden-victory overtime. The Wolverines used a similar second-half surge against the Buckeyes, scoring a pair of goals in the final 10 minutes to seal the weekend sweep. [ Recaps: Michigan State | Ohio State ]
Friday, Oct. 26 -- at Iowa (Iowa City, Iowa), 3 p.m. CDT
Sunday, Oct. 28 -- at Central Michigan (Mount Pleasant, Mich.), 1 p.m.