After losses in its first two games, the Michigan field hockey team knew it had to take advantage of its first home game at the Cardinal/Wolverine invitational this weekend.
The Wolverines did just that, beating unranked Stanford 5-1 on Friday. But the momentum didn’t last long, as Maryland dropped them 1-5 yesterday.
Michigan got out to a quick start against the Cardinal on Friday, taking a 2-0 lead before Stanford (1-3) scored just before halftime. The Wolverines quickly countered, scoring on their first two shots of the second half en route to a 5-1 victory.
“It felt good getting the first win, especially after last weekend when we couldn’t tally any points,” said junior forward Kelly Fitzpatrick, who had two goals in the match. “Our team played awesome and everything was textbook.”
The Wolverines (1-3) knew they would need to play their best game to beat the Terrapins (4-0), who came into Ann Arbor as the second-ranked team in the nation.
Maryland came out and dominated early, getting two goals from sophomore Katie O’Donnell. The Terrapins outshot the Wolverines 19-4 and turned two Michigan chances into goals of their own on their way to a 5-0 halftime advantage.
“In the first half, our forwards were not doing a very good job against the press,” Michigan coach Nancy Cox said. “Our kids have to step up and mark their outlets and do their job.”
The Wolverines hung tough in the second half, refusing to budge when the Terrapins outshot them 12-1 in the period. Redshirt junior goalie Paige Pickett didn’t allow a goal and each of Maryland’s five corners was well-defended. The Wolverines finally scored a consolation goal in the 67th minute, courtesy of sophomore Meredith Way.
“We lost to the same team 5-0 in the first half that we beat 1-0 in the second half,” senior co-captain Stephanie Hoyer said. “This showed us that we could turn things around in the second half. Our goalie, Paige Pickett, took a lot of heat throughout the whole game but she handled it well. In the second half we came out and executed our game plan of keeping (O’Donnell) off of the ball and that was a major improvement from the first to second half.”