The disappointing season for the Michigan field hockey team continued as it fell to Ohio State 3-0 in the semifinals of the Big Ten Tournament. After defeating Northwestern 6-1 in the quarterfinals, the Wolverines looked poised to capture their third-consecutive conference tournament title. After the victory the team including coach Marcia Pankratz was very optimistic about its upcoming matches and the level of its play.
“We played well today” Pankratz said. “We executed our corners and the defense controlled the game.”
After the win versus Northwestern, the Wolverines were looking for revenge against Ohio State, who gave the Wolverines their first Big Ten loss earlier this season in Columbus. The Wolverines felt that they had dominated that game, allowing few scoring opportunities for the Buckeyes.
“They scored two goals on two shots” goalie Maureen Tasch said, “They finish every opportunity we need to start finishing some of our own.”
The Wolverines dominated the early play, until Ohio State”s Vanessa Immordiro scored on a penalty shot which she lifted into the left-hand corner of the goal. The Wolverines immediately regained control of the match, until the Buckeyes” Jenee Doto scored on a penalty corner from Lorena Morgan.
The Wolverines began to press offensively, trying to tighten up the match before halftime. But with the increase in their offensive intensity, the Wolverines allowed Marije van Nouhuys to slip behind the defense to score a breakaway goal to give the Buckeyes a 3-0 lead.
“If we let the most dangerous player (van Nouhuys) in the Big Ten have a breakaway we”re not going to win,” Tasch said.
After three goals in just 25 minutes, the Buckeyes were shut out for the remainder of the match, but the Wolverines were unable to capitalize and could not decrease the deficit. The Buckeyes concentrated their attention on defense and forced the Wolverines to shoot through a crowd of players. Ohio State goalie Allison Blanton finished the afternoon with eight saves to Tasch”s zero.
“They scored three goals on three shots and their goaltender won it for them today,” Pankratz said.
After another disappointing loss this weekend, the Wolverines are still looking forward to the NCAA Tournament and are optimistic about their play. The tournament brackets will be announced tomorrow.
“We”re keeping our head up” attacker Adrienne Hortilossa said, “We”ve got it. We had a lot of passes that connected. We”ll get them next time.”
Aggressive play allowed Hortilossa who is only a freshman to spend much more time on the field after the Wolverines fell behind early.
“She”s a pure scorer,” Pankratz said of Hortilossa “We were trying to make up three goals.”
The Wolverines did score two goals in the second half that could have changed the momentum of the game, but both goals were called back.
“(The referee) said that they were too high,” Pankratz said.
“We”ve had bad breaks all year,” forward April Fronzoni said “But, we should of capitalized. We put it all on the line.”