The Fairfield Stags looked to bounce back after suffering a tough loss at the hands of the Delaware Blue Hens on Friday as they were set to host another top 20 ranked team in the Michigan Wolverines. Fairfield played their third consecutive home game of the season, but was unable to score a goal as Michigan picked up the 4-0 victory.
Both teams started the game battling one another, defending well and struggling to score a goal. The game was held scoreless through the majority of the first half, until Michigan forward Courtney Edge converted on the team’s second penalty-corner opportunity. Michigan took the lead and never relinquished it as they led 1-0 heading into the half.
Michigan picked up right where they left off by scoring another goal just 1:36 into the second half as the Wolverines were able to score the game’s second goal. After another penalty corner opportunity, Fairfield’s goalkeeper Caitlin Bennett ‘17 was able to save the goal, but Michigan regained possession and Lauren Thomas carried the ball towards the left side of the circle and sent a long cross-cage reverse shot from the scoring arc to score her first goal of the season.
Less than 10 minutes after Michigan scored their second goal of the game, they scored yet another goal after a Fairfield turnover. The Stags were forced to call a timeout in hopes of regrouping.
Coming out of the timeout, the Stags seemed poised to make a comeback as Ruth Smalbraak ‘19 centered a penalty corner that found Julie de Paeuw ‘17, who shot just wide of the cage. Michigan answered by scoring their fourth and final goal of the game minutes after as they finished the game 4-0.
“I was really proud of how we played, the heart and intensity. They did score more in the second half, but that’s because we left ourselves exposed because we were pushing so hard to get the ball in the net,” said Head Coach Jackie Kane.
Kane expects her team to bounce back and show the same energy and toughness from the previous games against top-20 ranked teams Delaware and Michigan. She said, “[The] Michigan coach was not happy being out-hustled by us. We were out-hustling Michigan, so if we play with the same intensity, keep playing structured hockey against teams that aren’t ranked in the top 20, our results should be a lot different.”
The Stags are back in action this Friday, Sept. 11 as they host University of California Davis at University Field at 4 p.m.