The Michigan women’s lacrosse team was off to a good start. They won possession of the first draw control and quickly drove the ball downfield into enemy territory.
In search of the perfect shot opportunity, a Michigan attacker managed to circle around the crease, tightly cradling the ball away from James Madison goalie Emily Poelma, and finally shooting it down into the bottom right corner of the net. As the Wolverines began to celebrate the goal, the referee silenced them quickly declaring it a crease violation.
Inside a booming Oosterbaan Field House, the match began as an uphill battle, as the Wolverines (0-2) let the ball drop against the Dukes, losing the home opener, 18-6 on Saturday.
The first goal of the game went to James Madison (1-1) at the 23:33 minute mark and was followed by another just 17 seconds later.
Down two, senior midfielder Anna Schueler took possession of the ball and charged down the field to net her first of two goals on the day. Five minutes later, senior attacker Kim Coughlan answered the Dukes’ third goal with one of her own, cutting the opponent’s lead to only one.
James Madison then went on a four-goal run that was momentarily interrupted by a goal from Michigan’s senior midfielder Lauren Oberlander, with the assist coming from Schueler. With the score at 3-7, the Dukes continued their dominance, tallying four more goals by the end of the first half.
In goal, redshirt freshman Alli Kothari made only one save in 30 minutes during her first career start. Sophomore goalie Mira Shane had her turn protecting the net in the second half, making five crucial stops.
James Madison continued its scoring run into the start of the second half, notching two more goals just 16 seconds apart within the first three minutes. Then, on a free-position mark, senior attacker Tess Korten broke the opponent’s streak with a goal for Michigan.
This marked the fourth goal of the game for the Wolverines, but perhaps even more importantly, solidified Korten’s place as the fourth player in program history to reach 100 points. Schueler, Coughlan and senior attacker Jess Angerman are the other three Michigan players that have reached this milestone.
Despite her personal achievement, Korten’s focus remains on the success of her team and teammates.
“We have a lot that we have to work on as a team,” Korten said. “We definitely had a good defensive unit out there today but we have some things we want to work on in practice. I’m working with the offense and trying to keep up with our game plan and making sure that we’re creating options for other teammates.”
With the score locked at 4-13, James Madison tallied another goal. The teams exchanged the next couple of goals, but it was the Dukes who had the final word, holding the Wolverines to zero goals in the last 10 minutes of game time while adding three more to their already powerful lead.
“This is a good team,” said Michigan coach Jennifer Ulehla. “We’re just struggling with some chemistry issues that are not off-the-field issues but figuring out, from a leadership standpoint, things that we need to clean up so that we’re able to really showcase our talent. We just really haven’t shown our talent.”
Added Schueler: “We want to win. We can do it. We will do it.”