Michigan Defeats Ohio State 5-0 to Advance to Big Ten Field Hockey Tournament Finals
Nov. 6, 2004
Evanston, IL - All three of Friday's (Nov. 5) first round matches in the 2004 Big Ten Conference Field Hockey Tournament were decided by one goal, so a close game was expected when top seeded Michigan played the fifth seed Ohio State. However, that wasn't the case here on Saturday (Nov. 6) morning as the Wolverines overpowered the Buckeyes, winning 5-0.
Michigan advances to the tournament finals for the first time since 2002 and improves their record to 15-5. The Wolverines now await the winner of Saturday's second semifinal match-up between third seeded Michigan State and second seeded Iowa. Ohio State ends their season at 10-10.
It didn't take long for one of the two rivals squads to get on the board Saturday. Just 2:39 into the match freshman midfielder Eleanor Martin played a rebound and slapped it by Ohio State junior goalie Lindsay Williams for the goal. The tally was only Marin's second of the season but came at a good time, putting the Maize and Blue up 1-0.
Michigan continued to be on the offensive throughout the early stages of the first half. Big Ten Conference Offensive Player of the Year Jessica Blake made her presence know early and often. The senior forward and Big Ten All-Conference first team selection let off a shot 7:20 into the contest, pushing it just wide of the net and a sprawling Williams. With 14:20 off the clock Blake had another scoring opportunity after she penetrated the Buckeye defense. Blake was set up for a close range shot, but Williams came out to play the ball to prevent Blake from getting off a shot and scoring.
After several penalty corner opportunities midway through the first stanza, Michigan was finally able to convert a penalty corner into their second goal. With 24:15 off the clock junior defender and all-conference first team member Lori Hillman received the ball off the corner and sent a touch pass across the circle to a wide-open Jill Civic. The sophomore forward flicked it into the net for her fifth goal of the year and put the Wolverines up 2-0. Michigan would go into halftime leading by the same score.
Just like the first half, Michigan was able to find the net early on in the second. Sophomore forward Mary Fox carried the ball down the sideline before cutting back toward the center of the field. The Big Ten All-Conference second team player found an open Katie Morris who caught OSU net minder Williams out of position and hit the back of the net for the goal. The score was Morris's 15th of the season and put the Wolverine's up 3-0.
Both teams fought back and forth for much of the remaining second half. With 21:11 expired in the second, Big Ten Conference Player of the Year Adrienne Hortillosa was awarded a penalty stroke from the top of the circle. However, Williams was able to stop the senior forward on the one-on-one to keep OSU within three.
Michigan wouldn't stay quiet for long though. At 22:50 gone in the second, Mary Fox sped by the Buckeye defense and riffled a shot, which was blocked by Williams. Katie Morris was in the right place at the right time once again and put the rebound home for her second goal of the game and 16th of the year to put U-M up 4-0.
Another rebounded shot contributed to the Wolverine's fifth goal of the game. Freshman forward Lucia Belassi scored her third goal of the 2004 campaign and gave Michigan the 5-0 advantage. Michigan also held an advantage in total shots, out-shooting Ohio State 22-5 for the match.
Sunday's championship game will begin at 1:00 pm CST at the Leonard B. Thomas Sports Complex and will be televised by CSTV on tape delay.