After going three consecutive games without being able to muster more than two goals in a match, the No. 16 Michigan field hockey team exploded for 11 goals in two weekend games, beating St. Louis, 6-2, and No. 23 Fairfield, 5-0.

The Wolverines’ key to the weekend was their second-half dominance on both ends of the field.

On Saturday, Michigan (5-3) started slowly and trailed 1-0 after a goal by the Billikens (0-8) in the 23rd minute. But the Wolverines tied it up late in the first half on a chip-in by junior forward Rachael Mack – her first of three on the afternoon.

Despite the score at the half, no one was happy with the team’s play.

“Our first half of the weekend was not very strong,” said Michigan coach Marcia Pankratz. “After the halftime talk, we put it together.”

Indeed the Wolverines did, scoring five goals in the second half, including four within the first 20 minutes of the second half before adding the final tally in the 66th minute.

It was Michigan’s control of the field and ball that enabled it to outshoot St. Louis 15-4 in the game and 10-2 in the second half.

In the game against the Stags (4-3) on Sunday, Michigan had plenty of opportunities in the first half but could not capitalize until the 28th minute after several shots and ricochets.

Initially, the ball was hit around in front of the left side of the circle, and it was there that sophomore midfielder Axelle Wouters found the ball and launched a low shot into the net.

Despite only scoring one goal on 10 shots in the first half, the Wolverines were clearly in control of the game due to ball control, while Fairfield failed to register a corner or a shot on goal.

This dominance carried over to the second half, as Michigan again outshot the Stags, 10-3.

The Wolverines finally finished on the handful of shots they had on net, scoring four second-half goals.

“We picked up the game at the first minute of the half,” said Wouters. “We stepped up in the second half.”

Freshman back Aisling Naughton set up the first goal of the half in the 42nd minute by dribbling in the front of circle before dishing the ball to Mack, who backhanded in her first of two goals of the day.

“As much as I like scoring goals, I want younger players to score some goals as well,” said Mack.

Such was the case for Michigan’s third and fourth goals of the game.

Wouters added her second goal of the match on a rebound in the 46th minute and Naughton followed by adding a goal of her own to make the score 4-0 in the 55th minute.

“We all came together,” said Mack. “We all picked it up.”

After recording a career-high 11 saves in last week’s loss to Connecticut, redshirt junior goalie Haley Jones had an easy afternoon Sunday, only having to stop one shot on goal before being lifted for redshirt freshman Adrianna Crovo, who played the last 9:42 to finish the shutout.

“I was proud of how we played (Sunday),” said Pankratz. “(We played a) full 70 minutes.”

With two blowout victories this weekend, the Wolverines seem to have finally found the offensive power they have been looking for all season. But this “discovery” won’t prevent them from getting too cocky.

“I think we have some great potential,” said Mack. “(But) we don’t want to be getting ahead of ourselves.”

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