The Michigan women’s lacrosse team faced off against Duquesne on Sunday in an attempt to avenge its 15-5 loss to No. 20 Massachusetts on Friday. Due to the Wolverines’ first-half offensive drought Friday, the Minutewomen were able to take a commanding lead with some first-half heroics. The loss was in stark contrast to Sunday’s game, when the Wolverines sparked their offense in the second half, resulting in a 9-4 win against the Dukes.
In their first outdoor home game of the season, the Wolverines fell victim to sluggish play, and UMass capitalized. In the first five minutes of the match, the Minutewomen scored two goals to give them an early 2-0 lead. However, Michigan bounced back with a goal just two minutes later.
Fierce play and strong defense led to a 13-minute period without goals, until UMass buried three goals to increase its lead to 6-1. A late score by the Wolverines would send them to halftime with a four-goal deficit.
After two early scores by the Minutewomen in the second half, Michigan pulled within five with three straight goals. However, as the Wolverines began to crack late in the second half, UMass scored five more times in a span of six minutes.
Michigan coach Jennifer Ulehla stressed the need to respond in its following game against Duquesne.
“We seriously needed to regroup,” Ulehla said. “We had a lot of fundamental issues.”
The Wolverines did just that, as they came out against Duquesne firing on all cylinders at the first whistle. Michigan maintained most of the possession at the onset, and two minutes in, junior attacker Tess Korten drove the ball toward the crease to put in an unassisted goal.
Less than 40 seconds later, junior attacker Angerman delivered a pristine pass to junior attack/midfielder Lauren Oberlander, who slipped the ball past the Dukes’ goalie with ease. Junior attacker Kelly Schlansker would put in another goal a mere minute later.
“I think we were a little inconsistent,” Angerman said. “There were definitely some five-minute spurts when we played really well, and then some times when we were a little sloppy.”
Korten credits the offensive dominance to the defense for creating crucial turnovers, which would allow for easier transitions to goals for the Wolverines.
“In the second half, we really were communicating, and we have so many offensive threats that we don’t have to rely only on specific people,” said Angerman.
Due to two Michigan penalties committed in the midfield, Duquesne was able to find the net with 25 minutes remaining, which launched the Dukes on a 4-0 run that gave them a 4-3 lead going into halftime.
“We came out and played incredibly well in the beginning and then there was a plateau,” Ulehla said. “We wanted a high-pressure ride, and that was successful as well as possessing the ball offensively.”
Michigan immediately followed up on that high pressure, as Angerman dangled the Duquesne goalie to find the back of the net 49 seconds into the half. Goals by Korten, Oberlander, junior midfielder Anna Schueler and junior attacker Allie Breitfeller would follow to give Michigan an 8-4 lead. A total of seven attackers scored on the day, giving new life to the Wolverine offense days after being shut down by UMass.
“We went into the locker room knowing we would have to come out more competitive and aggressive,” Korten said. “We really turned the game around to our control.”
Michigan looks to bring this strong defense and high-octane offense to Colorado in a week.
“It’s nice having a full week going into our Colorado match,” Angerman said. “It’s always a pretty big game for us.”