Wolverines outshot by the Wildcats, fall to 0-5

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By Azalea Hinojosa, For the Daily
Published March 11, 2014

Frustrated shouts from the sideline filled Oosterbaan Field House Tuesday afternoon as the Michigan women’s lacrosse team took on No. 8 Northwestern.

The Wolverines (0-5) began the tough matchup sluggishly, allowing their opponents to score four unanswered goals in the first five minutes of play. Those first few minutes were indicative of how of the rest of the game would play out, ending with a 20-6 Northwestern win.

Though the Wildcats (4-2) were in possession of the ball for the majority of the first half, the Wolverines managed to break past midfield and take eight shots on goal. Few of these shots found the net.

Following the missed attempts, the Wolverines called the only timeout of the game as the first half wound down. It proved helpful when freshman attacker Lauren Oberlander finally landed a shot less than three minutes later.

The goal brought the score to 10-1, breaking Northwestern’s 10-goal streak and serving as motivation for the two Michigan goals that followed, which were scored by freshman midfielder Anna Schueler and freshman attacker Sophie duPhily.

But as the game went on, the Wolverines’ shouts were slowly drowned out by the Wildcats’ cheers of their own.

Michigan only scored one of the next nine goals, bringing the score to an insurmountable 18-4.

“We need to realize that when we get down on the field we need to spread out more and pass the ball,” Oberlander said. “Make sure that we’re getting open for our teammates, especially since they were double teaming us a lot.”

Northwestern’s aggressive performance hindered the Wolverines’ offense, only allowing it to take half as many shots as the Wildcats.

Michigan regained some momentum by scoring back-to-back goals toward the end of the second half. The first goal was made by duPhily, and the second was sent flying in by freshman midfielder Kim Coughlan, bringing the score to 18-6.

But Northwestern responded with two more goals for the final margin.

Freshman goaltender Allison Silber was successful in blocking seven shots, but the Wildcats still dominated the Wolverines’ defense with their quick speed and came out on top.

Much can be learned from a challenging matchup like this one, especially for a team of freshmen going up against Northwestern, a squad that has won seven of the last nine NCAA championships.

Michigan coach Jennifer Ulehla agreed that going into a game against a top opponent like the Wildcats was an enormous fight for Team One.

“This is how we went into it: Let’s control what we can control, which is ourselves,” Ulehla said. “Being a team, communicating and working hard when we know we’re going to take our bumps and bruises.

“We got better from our Florida experience and today. Obviously the scoreboard doesn’t necessarily show it, but I know it and they know it.”