Starting a season 0-2 is not a yearly occurrence for Michigan
field hockey freshmen standouts Jill Civic and Mary Fox. In fact,
it’s a first. Neither Civic nor Fox lost back-to-back games at any
point in their high school careers.

Kate Green
TOM FELDKAMP/Daily
Michigan field hockey coach Marcia Pankratz takes a hands-on approach to coaching her team.

Thus, the losses to North Carolina and Wake Forest were a biter
pill to swallow, but Civic and Fox are far from being down for the
count. They have dusted themselves off and gone back to work. The
duo insists they’ve learned from this new experience, and they are
determined to help Michigan step into the winners column by weeks
end.

Civic said that the first two games served as an eye opener,
making the Wolverines realize that they will have to work together
to succeed. She knows that she is competing at a different level
than she was a year ago, and that success will not come as
easy.

“It’s better to take the losses now and learn from our
mistakes,” Civic said.

At Emmaus High School in Pennsylvania, Civic was named to the
NFHCA All-American team twice, recording first-team honors her
senior year. Civic also tied a national record by scoring in 23
consecutive contests as a senior.

Fox was honored as an all-American her senior year at Cor Jesu
Academy in Missouri, while being named the 2002 St. Louis
Post-Dispatch Player of the Year.

Head coach Marcia Pankratz is excited about what Civic and Fox
bring to the table.

“Jill has a real knack for being able to score,” Pankratz
said.

“Fox is a really good athlete with a lot of potential.”

Civic showed a flash of her ability when she put in the
Wolverines’ first goal of the season in their 4-2 loss to Wake
Forest on Monday.

As for Pankratz’s expectations for the standout freshmen:

“All that we ask is that they come and work as hard as they can
and learn as much as they can and be coachable, and they have all
done that really well.”

Despite the 0-2 record, both Civic and Fox are enjoying their
first few weeks in Ann Arbor, and they credit that to their
teammates.

“The girls are great,” Civic said. “They don’t look at you as
freshman, they just look at you as another player trying to make an
impact on the team.”

The first two losses were not the only change that Civic and Fox
have encountered on the field so far this season.

The adjustment from being the leader on their high school teams
to following examples on the Michigan squad is not necessarily an
easy one. But both Civic and Fox look at it from a
glass-is-half-full point of view.

They acknowledged that being surrounded by so much talent and
playing against fierce competition in practice on a daily basis
will make them better players.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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