MOUNT PLEASANT After a disappointing 2-1 loss to Penn State on Saturday, No. 4 Michigan”s field hockey team went on to defeat Central Michigan 4-0 yesterday. In dominating Central Michigan, the Wolverines improved their record to 12-4, with just one match left versus Northwestern Saturday in Evanston.
The Wolverines were led by a strong performance from goalie Maureen Tasch. Early in the first half with the Wolverines leading 1-0, Tasch prevented a breakaway goal with a sprawling save.
“Central took the opposite corner and I had to adjust. I just reacted,” Tasch said. “Overall I was very happy with how I played today. I really tried to fill a certain role after a tough loss and I think I succeeded.”
While the defense was being lead by Tasch, the offense was returning to its former dominance after struggling through the past few games. Led by Gannon and Jessica Rose, the Wolverines opened up an early lead and continued to control the game by placing tremendous pressure upon Central Michigan”s defense.
“We wanted to get off to a fast start and get some positive momentum in our favor,” Gannon said “The past few games we”ve struggled and fallen behind early. This game was different.”
After Rose scored the Wolverines second goal late in the first half, their defense stiffened and their ball-control abilities dominated the second half.
“We have the No. 1 ranked defense in the Big Ten,” Michigan coach Marcia Pankratz said “It”s solid. I”ve never questioned our ability to defend and make huge saves when we need them.”
The Wolverines put the game away late in the second half on a goal by Ashley Chod, assisted by Rose. Michigan”s final goal came from Stephanie Johnson with two minutes left in the second half.
The Wolverines controlled the tempo of the game and the possession of the ball from the first few minutes of the game on.
“We tried not to dribble the ball so much,” Gannon said “We passed much better today, which makes us a much more difficult team to defend.”
But the Wolverines still saw a lot of room for improvement, since they”ve struggled in their last two Big Ten games.
“It”s healthy for us to find the weaknesses in our game before the Big Ten and national tournaments,” Tasch adds “We see what we need to work on and now we have the time necessary to make the changes.”
After the Penn State loss the Wolverines seem to of come together. Starting with yesterday”s match against Central Michigan, the team has an all new approach to what is left of their season.
“We just began a brand new season today,” Gannon said. “It will continue through the Big Ten Tournament and through the national championships. This is an eight game season and right now we”re 1-0.”