Led by senior forward Shannon Scavelli’s game-winning goal, the Michigan field hockey team pulled out a 2-1 victory against Indiana on Sunday afternoon. The close win capped off a weekend that also included a 5-0 win against Pacific.
The Wolverines (3-1 Big Ten, 9-3 overall) were locked in a tight battle throughout Sunday’s game against the Hoosiers (2-1, 6-5).
“Indiana is a good team,” said Michigan coach Marcia Pankratz. “We knew they were going to come in here really fired up.”
The Wolverines were in danger of falling behind early if not for a save on an Indiana corner by sophomore goalie Sam Swenson, who only allowed one goal over two games this weekend.
But while Swenson was reliable in goal, Michigan struggled to get its offense going, especially on corners; they were 0-for-8 on such opportunities.
Eventually, the Wolverines got on the board when fifth-year senior back Mackenzie Ellis buried a penalty stroke with 10 minutes left in the first half.
Michigan took its one-goal lead into halftime but lost it less than two minutes into the second half when the Hoosiers converted a penalty corner. Indiana’s Kate Barber slapped a shot past Swenson’s outstretched stick, and the game was tied once again.
Both teams missed multiple opportunities to take a 2-1 advantage before Scavelli notched the game-winning goal with 13 minutes left. It was Scavelli’s sixth goal of the season, placing her well on track to pass her career-best total of seven from last year. Scavelli will have at least seven more games to notch her seventh goal.
“It feels good,” Scavelli said. “No matter who scores, as long as we win, that’s the most important thing.”
The Hoosiers pulled their goalie soon after Scavelli’s goal but were unable to find an equalizer. The hard-fought victory was crucial for the Wolverines, who jumped from fourth to third in the Big Ten standings.
“We pulled out an important win,” Pankratz said. “I was proud of the team for that.”
The Wolverines were sharper against Pacific two nights earlier, as five different players scored to lead Michigan to a 5-0 triumph. It was the most goals the Wolverines have scored this season, and they netted four in the second half alone.
Swenson posted her fourth shutout of the season, and the defense held the Tigers to just four shots.
With the two victories, Michigan has now won nine of its last 10 games, and looks to continue its momentum into next week’s matchup with Iowa.
“We need to continue to work to get better on goal scoring, transferring the ball and prepare for Iowa’s tactics,” Pankratz said. “It’ll be a good week of preparation for us.”