Field Hockey Falls at No. 8 Michigan
ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Nationally ranked Michigan scored six goals in the second half and defeated Davidson field hockey 7-0 Friday evening.
Despite the loss, the Wildcats (2-3) held the No. 8 Wolverines (3-2) to just one goal in the first 35-plus minutes. And the Wildcats threatened to tie it with two penalty corners and two shots in the final moments of the first half.
Seven Wolverines scored goals, with the first coming from Natalie Millman with 5:46 left in the second quarter. Michigan scored three goals in the third and three more in fourth.
Cato Roell faced 16 shots-on-goal and made nine saves.
The game in Ann Arbor was special for reasons other than facing a top-ranked opponent for Wildcat coach Zoe Almquist.
Almquist’s roots run deep in Ann Arbor, where she grew up within earshot of famed Michigan Stadium, known as the “Big House.” She’s also the daughter of the first-ever Michigan field hockey goalkeeper, Shellee Almquist, who played for the Wolverines in the 1970s.
As a child, Almquist attended Michigan coach Marcia Pankratz’s field hockey camps, and she later starred at Pioneer High School, which is adjacent to campus.
So yeah, Almquist stepped into familiar territory Friday.
“I’m bringing my team back home,” Almquist said last week. “Who gets to say that?”
Michigan hosts its home games at Ocker Field, where Almquist played recreational league games and fed her passion for the sport during summer camps.
I fell in love with the sport on that field,” said Almquist. “It feels like a pretty special place.
Friday wasn’t be the first time Almquist returned to Michigan as an opponent. She played there as a Northwestern Wildcat and later helped Northwestern win a Big Ten title at Ocker Field as an assistant coach. Two years ago, she was in the stands at Michigan as Northwestern won the NCAA championship.
Pankratz, who led Michigan to the 2001 national title, is in her second stint coaching the Wolverines. When Almquist contemplated entering the coaching profession, Pankratz was there to encourage her former camper.
“I’ve obviously looked up to her for a long time,” said Almquist.