The Michigan women’s lacrosse team nearly matched Colorado shot for shot Sunday at Michigan Stadium. The Wolverines were outshot by just two, but were outscored, 11-4.
Michigan has scored fewer than 10 goals in five straight games and has gone 1-4 during that stretch. This streak of low-scoring outputs comes after the Wolverines scored 10 or more goals in each of their first six games.
“It’s a focus and an execution (thing),” said Michigan coach Jennifer Ulehla. “It’s not for lack of practice. We’re trying to execute it, so I’ve got to take a look at what it was that their defense was doing, or was it really just personally or fundamentally we weren’t executing?”
At the beginning of the game, it looked like the Wolverines would have better luck. Just seven minutes into the first half, junior attacker Natalie Carti scored her 12th goal of the season to put her team up 1-0.
But that was the last goal the team would score for the next 18 minutes.
“We did have some good possessions on offense,” said junior attacker Tess Korten. “We just have to work on execution and actually getting our shot percentage up.”
Michigan’s poor offensive showing came in a game where the defense held up strong. Though it gave up 11 goals, many of those came in the second half when the Wolverines pushed forward to make up a deficit.
Despite going into scramble mode and getting many good chances at the net, Michigan couldn’t convert until just 10 minutes remained. By that time, the Wolverines’ deficit was too large.
And now, with the conference slate beginning next Saturday against Ohio State, the Wolverines will need to make those adjustments quickly if they want to turn this scoring trend around.
“We’re really going to focus in on our offense and our offensive chemistry from a big picture standpoint,” Ulehla said. “But then the little things, the fundamentals, catching and throwing, being deceptive with our shooting. Obviously, that was an issue today. We weren’t as deceptive as we should have been. Just getting more looks, more options.”
If Michigan is going to regain its offensive prowess from earlier in the season, perhaps the answer is in Ulehla’s last sentence: getting more looks. In all of the Wolverines’ wins this season, except one, they have outshot their opponents.
Either way, Michigan will be looking to improve its offense in any way that it can. If they don’t, the Wolverines will be in danger of losing their second in a row and getting off to a rocky start in their Big Ten campaign.