Looking to rebound from a loss to No. 7 Connecticut last weekend, the No. 16 Michigan field hockey team rode a strong second-half performance to a win over St. Louis on Saturday afternoon.

The Wolverines were led by a three-goal performance by junior forward Rachael Mack to beat the visiting Billikens, 6-2, in Ann Arbor.

Although the final score may indicate it, things didn’t always go as planned for the Wolverines. Late in the first half, St. Louis was able score off of a corner to take a goal advantage over Michigan.

The Wolverines could be considered lucky to be only down by one goal at that point in the game. Fifteen minutes into the game, there appeared to be a own-goal on Michigan, but the referee didn’t rule it a goal, merely giving the ball to St. Louis.

In past years, one couldn’t score an own goal, but a new NCAA rule was implemented this season that allowed for own-goals. No explanation was given as to the referee’s decision.

The Wolverines weren’t down for long, responding with a goal of their own just four minutes after the St. Louis tally. Mack scored her first goal of the match off of an assist from freshman forward Shannon Scavelli and helped Michigan regain some momentum heading into halftime with the score deadlocked.

“It was nice to see (Mack) step up when we needed her to lead in this game.” Said Michigan coach Marcia Pankratz.

As much as the first half was a back-and-forth battle, the Wolverines controlled the second half.

“I was really appreciative and proud of the way we regrouped in the second half,” Pankratz said.

Mack started the scoring only a minute into the second half. For the Wolverines, the early goal along with some halftime adjustments set the tone for the rest of the half, which saw Michigan score four straight goals on the Billikens.

Freshman Aisling Naughton and sophomore Axelle Wouters joined Mack on the score sheet, chipping in goals for the home team.

The game appeared to be all but a foregone conclusion with about 13 minutes left to play, but St. Louis showed some resiliency by coming back with a goal of its own. The Wolverines responded and put the game away for good with a goal from redshirt freshman Lauren Kent in the final few minutes of the match.

In addition to her three-goal game, Mack also became one of the top-10 career goal scorers at Michigan with 38 goals in her career. But Mack isn’t done scoring and is looking to continue adding to her total.

“My dad told me I have to score a little bit (more) goals to be the highest scorer, so I’m going for that,” Mack said.

Michigan outshot St. Louis by a count of 15-4 in the game. Redshirt junior goalkeeper Haley Jones got the win in net for the Wolverines.

Michigan (4-3) is set to take on No. 23 Fairfield on Sunday.

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