Game Notes #11: Michigan Opens Big Ten Tournament vs. Iowa

Nov. 3, 2009


2009 Big Ten Tournament Schedule
Tournament Central Homepage
Thursday-Sunday, Nov. 5-8
Ralph Young Field • East Lansing, Mich.

Thursday, Nov. 5 First Round
Game 1 -- #2 seed Ohio State vs. #7 seed Penn State, 1:15 p.m.
Game 2 -- #4 seed Iowa vs. #5 seed Michigan, 11 a.m.
Game 3 -- #3 seed Indiana vs. #6 seed Northwestern, 3:30 p.m.

Friday, Nov. 6 Semifinals
Game 4 -- #1 seed Michigan State vs. Game 2 winner, 12:15 p.m. (Live on Big Ten Network)
Game 5 -- Game 1 winner vs. Game 3 winner, 2 p.m. (Live on Big Ten Network)

Sunday, Nov. 8 Championship Game
Game 6 -- Game 4 winner vs. Game 5 winner, Noon (Live on Big Ten Network)

No. 5-seeded University of Michigan field hockey team (7-13, 2-4 Big Ten) begins the postseason against No. 4-seeded Iowa on Thursday (Nov. 5) in the first round of play at the Big Ten Tournament in East Lansing, Mich. Game time is set for 11 a.m. at Michigan State's Ralph Young Field. With a win over the Hawkeyes, U-M will face top-seeded MSU on Friday (Nov. 6) at 12:15 p.m. live on the Big Ten Network. The champion of the tournament receives an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.

Scouting the Hawkeyes -- Michigan opens the 2009 Big Ten Tournament by taking on the three-time defending tournament champion Hawkeyes. Last saeson was the first time in five seasons that Iowa and Michigan did not meet in the playoff. U-M beat Iowa in the title game in 2004 and in the first round of 2005. The Hawkeyes returned the favor in the next two seasons, knocking off U-M in the 2006 first round and defeating the Maize and Blue in the 2007 championship tilt. The first and only other Big Ten Tournament meeting between Iowa and Michigan came in the 1999 title game, which the Wolverines won.

The Wolverines fell to 14-38 all-time against Iowa after a 3-2 home loss to the Hawkeyes on Sept. 25. U-M held a 2-0 lead at halftime as a result of goals by Meredith Way and Bryn Bain. Iowa tied the game with a pair of goals just 1:09 apart early in the second half. The Hawkeyes finished the comeback with 5:04 remaining in regulation time. Iowa finished the 2009 season with an 8-9 overall record and 3-3 mark in Big Ten play.

Trophy Hunters -- The Wolverines are seeking their fifth Big Ten Tournament championship. U-M captured back-to-back titles in 1999, 2000, and once again in 2004 and 2005. Michigan is one of three schools (Penn State, Iowa) that has won a league-best four tournament crowns.

Awards Week -- The Big Ten will announce its award winners for the 2009 season on Wednesday (Nov. 4) at its annual awards banquet. At least one Wolverine has been picked for the All-Big Ten first team each year since 1995. Last year, Michigan had one player on the All-Big Ten first team (Stephanie Hoyer) and three on the second team (Meredith Way, Sarah Wilhite, Kelly Fitzpatrick).

NCAA Stats | Big Ten Stats | U-M Stats (Through 10/31/09)

Meredith Way2017438
Alicia Mayer207216

Paige Pickett143-11-02.12.7242
Christi Barwick74-2-01.73.7501

Way Cool -- Junior Meredith Way's (Newmanstown, Pa./Warwick) 17 goals and 38 points this year are the most by a Michigan player since 2004 when Jessica Blake had 19 goals and 47 points. Way's 17 tallies are tied for 10th on U-M's single-season list. One more goal would create a three-way tie for eighth place, while two more markers would force a three-way tie for sixth place. She needs two points to tie for 10th place on the single-season points list. Way led the Wolverines in goals (12) and points (29) during the 2008 season as well.

From Sept. 20 through Oct. 18, Way rattled off a career-best, nine-game point streak during which she posted 12 goals and three assists for 27 of her 38 points on the year.

Way's 38 points rank fourth in the Big Ten behind Northwestern's Chelsea Armstrong (56), Ohio State's Berta Queralt (44) and Michigan State's Floor Rijpma (39). Her 16 goals are third to Armstrong (22) and Rijpma (18).

Mayer Sets Career Highs -- Junior Alicia Mayer (Selinsgrove, Pa./Selinsgrove) scored her seventh goal of the season vs. Indiana on Oct. 31, establishing a career high for goals and points (16). Mayer had six goals and three assists for 15 points as a sophomore. Mayer finished the regular season second on Michigan's goal and point charts.

Pickett's Return -- After missing six games due to injury from Oct. 2-18, fifth-year senior goalie Paige Pickett (Dallas, Texas/Episcopal School of Dallas) took her place back in the U-M cage for the final four games of the regular season. Pickett boasts a career-high save percentage of .724 this season despite a 3-11 record. Her 2.12 goals-against average is her second-best rating at U-M; she had a 1.66 GAA in 2007. Two of Pickett's three wins this year are by shutout.

'A' is for Adams -- Redshirt sophomore Katie Adams (Hudson, Ohio/Hudson) leads the Wolverines with eight assists. She is tied for sixth in the Big Ten in assists. Adams' eight points and eight assists are each career highs after registering a 2-1-5 line as a freshman in 2008.

Rank and File -- Ten of Michigan's 20 opponents this season were ranked among the NFHCA's top 20. U-M posted its only win against a ranked opponent by topping No. 17 Northwestern, 3-1, on Oct. 2. The win over the Wildcats 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
Oct. 25 -- No. 8 Michigan State - L, 2-1
Oct. 31 -- No. 18 Indiana - L, 2-4

Coming Up Just Short -- Ten of Michigan's 13 losses this season have been by one goal, including eight of its final nine defeats. Six of the one-goal losses were to ranked teams.

Overtime Blues
-- Michigan has come up on the wrong end of sudden-victory overtime three times this season and seven straight times dating back to the start of the 2008 season. Most recently, 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.

Four-Game Winning Streak
-- 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, No. 17 Northwestern, Saint Louis and Harvard during its only winning streak this season.

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.

Sat-Sun., Nov. 14-15 -- NCAA Tournament First/Second Rounds (Campus Sites)