It took sudden-death overtime, but the No. 15 Michigan women’s field hockey team pulled out its third-straight victory on Friday afternoon, defeating No. 21 Albany, 2-1, at Great Danes’ Alumni Turf Field in Albany, N.Y.

Freshmen Lauren Thomas picked the perfect time to score her first collegiate goal, slamming a shot past Albany net-minder Kristi Troch at the 76:46 mark of overtime to earn the victory for Michigan (3-2). The goal came off of the Wolverines’ first penalty-corner opportunity in the extra frame.

The Wolverines pulled off the victory despite the being outshot by a 22-14 margin and outcornered 10-5. The stellar play of redshirt junior goalie Haley Jones didn’t hurt, as she recorded a career-best 11 saves, two of them coming in overtime.

Michigan also received contributions from a familiar face, junior Rachael Mack, the team’s leading scorer for two years running. Mack opened the game up with a goal at the 21:48 mark, deflecting in a shot from fellow teammate, sophomore Emy Guttman.

The Wolverines took their 1-0 lead into the locker room at halftime, but Albany slowly built momentum after the break, outshooting Michigan 13-7 in the second half. The onslaught of shots finally culminated in an Albany goal in the final minute of regulation. Great Dane junior forward Daphne Voormolen scored off of a scramble in front of the Wolverines’ cage to even the match at one apiece with 39 seconds left on the clock.

Entering overtime, it seemed that Albany was poised to complete the comeback. But with a near-perfect 7-1 record in overtime since 2010 to hark back to, Michigan found a way to put one in the back of the net.

“I was very proud of our resiliency today,” said Michigan coach Marcia Pankratz. “There were a lot of things that we had to overcome. We were on the road and had to battle a very aggressive, relentless feisty team with a lot of skill. Our kids held their own and played strong, stayed focused and overcame adversity. To win one like that on the road, I was really proud of them.”

Mack’s first-half goal was her first of the season. And with her goal in overtime, Thomas became the fifth Wolverine this season to score her first collegiate goal.

“We have some versatility in our offensive production,” Pankratz said. “That is always good, because it’s hard for other teams to scout us when we have a lot of different people that can score.”

Friday’s win marked Michigan’s second-straight victory versus a ranked opponent, the first coming last Sunday against No. 22 Maine. The Wolverines finish out their weekend on Saturday with a clash with No. 7 Connecticut at 2 p.m. in Albany.

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