With 11 minutes to go in its match against Kent State (0-9), the No. 9 Michigan field hockey team found itself in a 3-3 deadlock against the Golden Flashes. The team knew the next score could determine the final outcome and give junior goalkeeper Beth Riley her 36th career win – a school record. And it did.
Junior Jill Civic tipped in a rebound off a penalty-corner to make the score 4-3, which proved to be the final tally. Riley played well all game, making four saves. Earlier goals by freshman Erin Dallas, senior Katie Morris and sophomore Lucia Belassi also helped Riley break the coveted record.
With junior Mary Fox out with a hand injury and senior captain Lori Hillman competing in Chile with Team USA at the 2005 Junior World Cup, the Wolverines (6-4) were shorthanded the entire match
Other team members stepped up in important spots for the Wolverines, and their coach noted their effort.
“Our junior class, including defenseman Kara Lentz and midfielder Eleanor Martin, really played huge for us,” Michigan coach Nancy Cox said.
The upcoming games will be integral to the squad’s season and Cox knows the team needs to be at full strength to have its best shot at a successful year.
“Next week, we hope to have all our kids on the field,” Cox said.
Big Ten rivals No. 11 Indiana and No. 8 Penn Sate will travel to Ann Arbor for games on Friday and Sunday. The entire team knows the importance of the forthcoming challenge.
“We’re really looking forward to the Big Ten games,” Cox said. “That’s what we prepare for, and the match on Friday against Indiana at home should be a good one.”
On Friday, the Wolverines played their first conference match of the season against archrival No. 14 Ohio State (7-2) in Columbus. Michigan fell 6-1 to the Buckeyes, with its lone goal coming off the stick of Lentz. Ohio State scored four first-half goals, which proved to be too much for the Michigan women.