With full team effort, Michigan overpowers Niagara
The Michigan women’s lacrosse team (4-9) had no shortage of firepower on their way to a 20-10 victory over Niagara University (4-7) on Tuesday. In a well-rounded team effort, the Purple Eagles just couldn’t seem to find the answers to anyone in the Wolverines’ lineup.
The first half began with four unanswered goals for Michigan. Senior midfielder Ann Schueler had a standout performance as she scored two unassisted goals to start the game. Ten minutes later, senior Natalie Carti ended the scoreless drought off an assist from senior attacker Tess Korten. Korten went on to pick up a goal herself just 30 seconds later. There were still about 15 minutes left to play in the first half.
Niagara began to build momentum three minutes later, scoring three unanswered points, but the Purple Eagles faltered shortly afterward, and failed to come any closer.
Schueler responded immediately, picking up a goal just 15 seconds after Niagara had scored.
“They made a push,” said Michigan coach Jennifer Ulehla. “We pushed back. We pushed back before the first half. And that makes a difference.”
With 41 seconds remaining in the first half, Korten scored her second goal. And with just two seconds left on the clock, freshman Sydney Whitaker broke through off an assist from Shueler. This put the Wolverines up, 7-3, at halftime.
Michigan blew open its lead halfway through the second half. Senior attacker Jess Angerman tallied three of her own, and goals also came from redshirt junior attacker Bianca Brueckner, junior attacker Mae Tarr and senior midfielder/attacker Lauren Olbermann.
Up until that point, upperclassmen had dominated the play for the Wolverines, but with a comfortable lead, Ulehla decided to give her younger players a chance to compete.
“It was great to be able to put in a lot of younger ones, freshmen and sophomores,” Ulehla said. “It was great to showcase our depth. So it was a great day for the youth and the future of Michigan lacrosse.”
Redshirt freshman attacker Adriana Pendino notched a hat trick, and freshmen midfielder Chandler Kirby and attacker Lilly Grass would pick up a goal apiece. Sophomore Grace Hemmer would also contribute a goal to wrap up the 20-10 win.
As the team gets ready to head into the last three games of their tough season, Ulehla explained the importance of Tuesday's win.
“It’s good for us from a momentum standpoint,” Ulehla said. “We really did really well on the draw. We had nine draw-controls against Niagara, which just shows consistency. We’re going to carry that on into our game against (Johns) Hopkins.”
Michigan has just three games left to capitalize on its momentum, but if they continue to succeed as they did against the Purple Eagles, they might be able to pull together a great finish to a difficult season.