Defense was the name of the game, at least in the first quarter, as the No. 9 Michigan field hockey team hosted Indiana on Friday.
After a scoreless first quarter where both teams traded extended possessions, the Wolverines (8-3 overall, 3-2 Big Ten) opened up the game on offense, tallying two goals in each of the next three quarters en route to a 6-0 victory over the 24th-ranked Hoosiers (8-7, 1-4). The Michigan defense only matched that offensive success, pitching a shutout in a top-25 conference matchup.
“I’m proud of our team for playing really well and getting a shutout,” Michigan coach Marica Pankratz said. “I think today they did a pretty good job. So I was happy with their performance.”
The Michigan offense got going in the second quarter, as junior midfielder Pilar Oliveros got the scoring started with a good corner shot. Later in the same quarter, fifth-year midfielder Kathryn Peterson joined the scoring party with a goal of her own, giving the Wolverines a 2-0 halftime advantage.
Fellow fifth-year forward Katie Anderson kept the pedal down for Michigan with a goal in the third, before junior forward Kate McLaughlin put the ball in the net herself to give the Wolverines a 4-0 lead at the conclusion of three quarters.
“It takes pressure off knowing that there’s 10 other people that can go and do as good as the team needs,” sophomore forward Abby Tamer said.
Even a fresh Indiana goaltender couldn’t stem the tide, as junior midfielder Lora Clarke added a goal of her own after the Hoosiers switched goalies. Capping the scoring was graduate student forward Tina D’Anjolell added the sixth Michigan goal of the afternoon.
“You have to communicate a lot, I thought we did a pretty good job there,” Pankratz said.
The Hoosiers wound up only getting off three shots, though sophomore goaltender Caylie McMahon, along with the rest of the Wolverine defense, deserved credit for the few saves they made. The offensive output was at least as good 5s the stifling defense.
“Our team is so deep this year that we all have a huge role on our team,” Tamer said.
Tamer’s words rang true Friday, as Michigan had six different players with goals and avoided defensive breakdowns en route to the Wolverines third Big Ten win of the season.