The Michigan field hockey team had full control of play in the second half of its game Sunday afternoon against No. 11 Wake Forest. But it wasn’t enough to erase an insurmountable first-half deficit, as the Wolverines lost their second straight game, 3-0.
With 14 shots on goal in the second stanza, the 14th-ranked Wolverines (0-2) had opportunities to rally. But they couldn’t seem to capitalize when in possession of the ball, resulting in a different outcome.
Coming off a close 2-1 loss to No. 2 North Carolina on Saturday, the Wolverines appeared energized during their warmup. At the sound of the whistle, though, Wake Forest took control.
Taking full advantage of their penalty corners, the Demon Deacons jumped out to a quick lead.
Just 9:11 into the first half, Wake Forest’s Jessy Silfer batted a rebounded ball into the back of the net from a scrum near the right post. Less than a minute later, the Demon Deacons hit twine once again.
After just 11 minutes, they were up 2-0.
A deflection by Wake Forest’s Madi Julius tricked Wolverine sophomore goalie, Sam Swenson, notching a third in favor of the Deacons with six minutes left in the half.
Heading into halftime, Michigan was in a 3-0 hole. However, from the start of the second half, it appeared that the Wolverines had a chance to dig themselves out.
With possession of the ball for the majority of the second half, the Wolverines outshot Wake Forest 14-2, and out-cornered them 8-0.
It was as if a new team took the field.
“We discussed that we were going to go ahead and step up and play more aggressively … and we did it,” said Michigan coach Marcia Pankratz. “I’m proud of them for making the change because that’s not easy to do in the middle of a game.”
However, unlike the Demon Deacons and their success on penalty corners, the Wolverines were unable to put one away.
The final whistle sealed their fate, dropping their second match of the season 3-0. However, the Wolverines look forward.
With a full schedule ahead, Michigan will practice challenging the ball and looks to play aggressively for the full 70 minutes.
“We talk about how this is a long process and it’s not where we start but where we finish. We’re trying to learn from each game and get better to prepare ourselves for the Big Ten season and certainly for the tournament. I’m optimistic.”