86 - The Michigan Daily - September 6, 2000 - SportsWednesday
Again? Stickers drops another opener, but rebound against Duke
By Michael Kern
IDily Spons Wnstr
This past weekend at the Big
Ten ACC Challenge in St. Louis the
Michigan field hockey team sufTered an
unfortunate occurrence of deja vu. The
second-ranked Wolverines faced off
against No. 4 North Carolina and Duke
falling 4-2 to the Tar Heels before
defeating the Blue Devils 3-I.
Last year, Michigan dropped its sea-
son opener at North Carolina but defeat-
ed Duke in the first round of the NCAA
Tournament on its way to the finals.
For a team that relies on its ability to
score on penalty corners like Michigan,
this weekend's game were a case of live
by the sword, die by the sword.
In its victory over Duke, Michigan
opened the scoring on a penalty corner
in the second half. But against North
Carolina, the Wolverines were only able
to earn three penalty corners.
"Getting a shot or a corner are the
two most important things," senior
Courtney Reid said.
The graduation of co-captains Ashley
Reichenbach and Erica Widder has also
forced the Wolverines to retool their
defensive line - moving senior Jeanne
Shin and junior Catherine Foreman
back from the midfield.
But Pankratz is not worried about the
switch effecting the teams defense for
the long tertl.
"Every year you lose seniors,"
Pankratz said. "But classes grow and
mature and new leaders emerge. Cather-
ine has really taken over the sweeper
position and a leadership role on
Pankratz and the Wolverines know
that last year's finals appearance has also
placed a big bullseye on their backs.
Playing in a strong Big Ten conference,
the Wolverines will be unable to take
any days off.
"There's a lot more pressure there now
then there's ever been, Michigan coach
Marcia Pankratz said. "It's a lot easier to
make a run to the NCAA finals when no
one expects it. Now people expect us to
be there, and every team is gunning for
us and trying to knock us off."
Michigan opened its season on the
road August 26 with a 2-0 shutout of
Maine. The next day freshmen April
Fronzoni and Kristi Gannon recorded
their first career goals en route to a 5-2
drubbing of Northeastern.
"April is speedy and tenacious and can
finish the ball,' Reid said. "In practice
she scores a hat trick almost every day"
Fronzoni and Gannon are part of a
highly touted class of nine freshmen
who have joined the Wolverines this
year. Five have already seen consider-
able playing time, including goalkeeper
Molly Moloney who will rotate in the
net with junior Maureen Tasch.
While the addition of nine new faces
brings up the question of team chet
istry, the Wolverines are already reapi
the benefits of a larger roster.
"Now in practice we can play a full
scrimmage where last year we couldn',"
'senior captain Regan Wulfsburg said.
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