For the first time in the history of Michigan athletics, a women”s varsity team has won a national championship.
With a 2-0 victory over No. 1 Maryland, the No. 7 Michigan field hockey team won the sport”s Final Four, held this year in Kent, Ohio.
“All I can say is that I happy to bring another one home for the Wolverines,” said Michigan coach Marcia Pankratz. “Men programs, women”s programs, rev, non-rev, it doesn”t matter. Were just really proud to be apart of the university.”
Goalie Maureen Tasch saved each of the Terrapins” 11 shots for the shutout victory and was recognized as the game”s Most Valuable Player.
“Obviously nothing could be better than this,” Tasch said. “And it still has not all processed in my mind yet. I haven”t cried like everyone else yet.”
One goal each from Adrienne Hortillosa and Jessica Rose secured the victory for Michigan. Kristi Gannon assisted on both scores.
Michigan”s 51st national championship comes for the first time in a woman”s sport. It also comes against the same team that beat the Wolverines in the championship game two years ago.
Despite being the top-ranked team in the nation, Maryland knew from the beginning of the year that Michigan was dangerous, and that it would provide a great challenge in this game.
“Michigan was not a program of the magnitude they are now,” said Maryland coach Missy Meharg. “They are a very formidable team. They have tremendous players. As the season started we scouted them early on and we felt that at that time actually that besides from ourselves we were the best team in the nation”
Friday afternoon, the Wolverines advanced past No. 6 Princeton with a 4-2 victory. In that game, Michigan was down 2-1 early in the second half, but goals by Molly Powers, April Fronzoni and Stephanie Johnson sent the Wolverines to the title game.
Michigan finished its season with an 18-5 record.
Hortillosa”s goal came on a corner play just 2:13 before halftime to put the Wolverines on the board. After the break, Gannon stole the ball and sent it to Rose, who notched the second goal just 5:31 in. The 7:44 period was all it took to give Michigan the title.
Michigan hosted a regional in which it beat North Carolina and Michigan State to advance to the Final Four. The fact that Michigan even hosted the regional was a bit of a surprise after the Wolverines lost to Ohio State in the semifinals of the Big Ten Tournament.