Game Notes #9: U-M Faces Kent State Wednesday; Heads to Michigan State Sunday

Oct. 21, 2009

Wednesday, Oct. 21 - vs. Kent State (Phyllis Ocker Field), 3 p.m.
Live StatsKent State Website
Sunday, Oct. 25 - at Michigan State (East Lansing, Mich.), Noon
Live StatsMichigan State Website

The University of Michigan field hockey team (7-9, 2-2 Big Ten) hosts Kent State (9-6, 6-1 MAC) in a midweek matchup on Wednesday, Oct. 21, at Phyllis Ocker Field. U-M owns a 10-3-3 advantage over the Golden Flashes in the all-time series. Last year, KSU beat the Wolverines 1-0 in overtime in Ann Arbor.

On Sunday, Oct. 25, Michigan heads north to East Lansing, Mich., to face arch-rival Michigan State (12-3, 3-0 Big Ten) for a noon start. The Spartans are currently in first place in the Big Ten standings. The Big Ten Network will be televising the game on tape delay. It will debut on Monday, Oct. 26, at 8 p.m. Michigan leads the all-time series at 34-22-6. Last year, the Wolverines upset then-No. 4 MSU, 1-0, in Ann Arbor.

Big Ten Stats | U-M Stats: Through 10/18/09

Meredith Way 16 15 3 33
Alicia Mayer 16 6 2 14
Bryn Bain115212
Paige Laytos 16 2 5 9

Paige Pickett103-7-02.16.7312
Christi Barwick 7 4-2-0 1.73 .750 1

Having Her Way - Junior Meredith Way (Newmanstown, Pa./Warwick) has points in nine straight games, posting 12 goals and three assists for 27 points during the point spree. Overall, she has set career highs for goals (15) and points (33) this year after a 12-5-29 line in 2008. Her team-best 33 points (15-3-33) are more than double that of U-M's second leading scorer (Alicia Mayer, 14). Way notched her fourth multi-goal game of the season and the seventh of her career with two goals at OSU on Oct. 17. She also tacked on an assist against the Buckeyes for a season-high five points.

Mayer Moves Up - Junior Alicia Mayer (Selinsgrove, Pa./Selinsgrove) is second on the team in goals (6) and points (14). She has recorded at least one goal in each of the past three weekends. Mayer's goal at Miami (Oct. 18) was her second game-winning tally of the season, which is a single-season career high. Her six markers this season equal her career-best, single-season total set in 2008. Her next point will tie her single-season high, also set in 2008.

Barwick Steps Up - Redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Christi Barwick (San Diego, Calif./Torrey Pines) has started each of U-M's last six games, backstopping the Wolverines to a 4-2 record during that time. She has a 1.74 goals against average, .756 save percentage and one shutout in those starts. Barwick made a career-high 13 saves in U-M's 3-2 double-overtime loss to New Hampshire on Oct. 11. Her 36 saves this season are a career high after making 33 stops in 2008. Barwick's 484 minutes played this season are 14 shy of her season total from 2008.

'A' is for Adams - Redshirt sophomore Katie Adams (Hudson, Ohio/Hudson) leads the Wolverines with seven assists, five of which have come in the last eight games. Her seven points and seven assists are each career highs after registering a 2-1-5 line as a freshman in 2008.

Winning Streak Halted - Michigan's four-game winning streak from Sept. 27-Oct. 10 was its best since an 11-game spree during the middle of the 2007 season. U-M defeated Penn State, then-No. 17 Northwestern, Saint Louis and Harvard during its only winning streak this season.

Overtime Blues - Michigan has come up on the wrong end of sudden-victory overtime seven straight times dating back to the start of the 2008 season. The Wolverines clawed back from 1-0 and 2-1 deficits vs. New Hampshire on Oct. 11 only to lose, 3-2 in double overtime. In 2007, the Wolverines had a near flawless record in extra time at 7-1.

Narrow Defeat - Seven of Michigan's nine losses this season have been by one goal, most recently a 4-3 defeat at Ohio State on Oct. 17. The Wolverines have come up short three times in overtime, including a double-overtime loss to New Hampshire on Oct. 11.

Rank and File - Michigan posted its only win of the season against a ranked opponent by topping No. 17 Northwestern, 3-1, on Oct. 2. U-M is 1-7 against teams in the NFHCA's top 20 this season. The win over NU ended a nine-game losing streak to ranked teams, dating back to Oct. 26, 2008.

Aug. 29 -- No. 4 North Carolina - L, 2-1
Aug. 30 -- No. 2 Wake Forest - L, 2-1
Sept. 6 -- No. 1 Maryland - L, 4-1
Sept. 12 -- No. 5 Connecticut - L, 5-1
Sept. 19 -- No. 7 Syracuse - L, 2-1 OT
Sept. 20 -- No. 16 Louisville - L, 3-2 OT
Oct. 2 -- No. 17 Northwestern - W, 3-1
Oct. 17 -- No. 19 Ohio State- L, 4-3

Co-captains - Senior Jenner Johnson (Lake Bluff, Ill./Lake Forest) and redshirt junior Paige Laytos (Lititz, Pa./Warwick) make up Michigan's leadership duo. Johnson is U-M's anchor on the back line after starting 19 of 20 games for the Wolverines as a junior. Laytos redshirted the 2008 season due to a knee injury that limited her to just three games. She has started 45 out of a possible 46 games in her career, accumulating eight goals and 10 assists from her midfield position.

Introducing the Newcomers (Coaches Edition) - The entirely overhauled Wolverine coaching staff has plenty of previous experience in Ann Arbor. Head coach Marcia Pankratz previously led the Maize and Blue for nine seasons from 1996-2004. She is the winningest coach in U-M field hockey history (147-55, .728 winning percentage). Pankratz led Michigan to the 2001 NCAA title and six NCAA Tournament berths in all.

Assistant coach Kristi Gannon Fisher was a two-time All-American as a back for Michigan from 2000-03. She earned All-Big Ten first team accolades all four years. She went on to become a member of the U.S. National Team from 2004-06. Fisher was a volunteer assistant for U-M during the 2006-07.

Assistant coach Ryan Langford is brand new to Ann Arbor. He has 10 years of previous assistant coaching experience at James Madison (2007-08), Temple (2005-07), Appalachian State (2000-05) and Southwest Missouri State (1999-2000). Langford spent seven years on the USA Field Hockey national team (1994-99, 2001-03).

Michigan field hockey is now on Twitter. Sign up and follow the Wolverines (Michigan_fhock) with up-to-the-minute news and information throughout the season and beyond. Twitter is a free casual, online social network that is designed to connect businesses, organizations and individuals. Each Twitter post (or "tweet") can be received on a user's cell phone via text or on the web.

Kent State - The Golden Flashes (9-6, 6-1 MAC) have won six of their last seven games dating back to late September. Among KSU's nine wins are triumphs over Saint Louis (7-0), Miami (5-2) and Ball State (3-2), which are all teams that U-M has picked up wins against. Last weekend, Kent State lost to Ohio, 2-1, before rebounding with a 3-2 win against Missouri State. Debbie Bell is the top scorer for KSU with 19 goals and four assists for 42 points. Rachel Miller has 8-7-23 totals. For information on Kent State, visit

Michigan State - The Spartans (12-3, 3-0 Big Ten) are enjoying a seven-game winning streak. The streak includes all three of their Big Ten wins against Northwestern, Indiana and Iowa. Floor Rijpma (13-3-29) and Manouk Vernij (8-9-25) lead the Spartan attack, while four other players have double-digit point totals for MSU. For information on Michigan State, visit

Michigan is out of the top 20 rankings for the sixth straight week, though the Wolverines received 15 points. The next Kookaburra/NFHCA Division I National Coaches Poll will be released on Tuesday, Oct. 27, and the poll is available on the NFHCA's site.

Wednesday, Oct. 28 - at Central Michigan (Mount Pleasant, Mich.), 3 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 31 - vs. Indiana (Phyllis Ocker Field), 1 p.m.