This season, the Michigan field hockey team has had difficulty scoring the first goal of the game and has needed overtime to win on two occasions.
What a difference a week makes.
The second-ranked Wolverines wasted little time in securing a lead against Boston University (3-5) Saturday, and never looked back on the way to a 3-0 victory.
“I was really happy with our play, especially in the first half,” Michigan coach Marcia Pankratz said. “We played very crisp and we transferred the ball well, which is something we’ve worked on and we did it really well.”
Forward Molly Powers began the scoring for Michigan (1-0 Big Ten, 9-1 overall) in the sixth minute, scoring on a rebound off a penalty corner. Defender Stephanie Johnson released a blistering shot off the inbound pass, and Terriers goalkeeper Susan Harrington stacked the pads to stop the initial shot, but Powers was in the right place at the right time to put the ball into the open net.
“Every time I’m in the circle I’m looking to score, or at least get a tip on the ball,” said Powers, who now is tied for second on the team with nine goals this season. “For the last three years I’ve been working on (getting rebounds), and this year its starting to click for me.”
Midfielder Adrienne Hortillosa might have scored the prettiest goal of the season for the Wolverines in the second half. The Terriers tried to hurry an out-of-bounds restart and Hortillosa stole the inbounds pass and began to head up field. Two Boston defenders converged on her, but she managed to split the defense in half for a breakaway on Harrington. Hortillosa squeezed a shot underneath the diving netminder to give the Wolverines a 3-0 lead at that point.
Hortillosa was an integral part of the Wolverines’ national championship run last season, scoring the go-ahead goal in the title game against Maryland. But Saturday was her first tally of the season, ending a 10-game drought.
“For (countless) games, everyone has been saying ‘This is going to be your game,’ and there was a lot of pressure,” Hortillosa said. “Today I took it off of myself and had fun.”
On Friday, the Wolverines got their revenge against Ohio State (4-5, 0-1) with a 4-1 victory. The Buckeyes were the thorn in Michigan’s side last season, handing the Wolverines two losses, including an especially tough 3-0 loss at the Big Ten Tournament.
This time, Powers tallied two goals, Johnson scored on a penalty corner with another one of her booming shots, and midfielder Jessica Rose put one in to round out the scoring.
“It feels really good (to beat Ohio State),” Powers said. “It’s something that we’ve pretty much been thinking about for a year.”