The Wolverine

October 2016

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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OCTOBER 2016 THE WOLVERINE 65 BY AUSTIN FOX T he Michigan field hockey team kicked off the cam- paign in dramatic fashion, knocking off top-ranked North Carolina by a score of 1-0 Aug. 27 in Winston-Salem, N.C. The school's season-opening triumph set the tone for the Wolverines this sea- son, and they have gone on to win five of six following the program's first win over UNC since 2002, in- cluding a defeat of No. 11 Stanford Sept. 2. "I think what we did really well is we played as a team, and every- one played with 100 percent effort the entire game," head coach Marcia Pankratz explained. "We substituted everybody through, and we were unrelenting in our effort. The whole team really stuck together and stuck to the game plan, and had a lot of belief we could win the game. "We talk about playing with one Michigan heartbeat, and that was very evident in the Carolina game." The fact that Michigan was able to win the game didn't necessar- ily come as a surprise to Pankratz, though. She knew her team had the potential to do something special before the start of the season, and knocking off last year's national run- ner-up — which ended Michigan's run in the NCAA Tournament last year — qualifies as just that. "We played North Carolina in our last game of the season last year and it was a nail-biter, a 1-0 game," Pan- kratz said. "I think this team is better than last year's team, so we certainly felt we could win that game." Pankratz didn't hold back when asked what the goals were for her squad. "It's pretty much what we're see- ing," she said. "Our expectations were that the team is going to work extremely hard, we're going to be very versatile and talented, and on any given day we can beat any team. I think we're easily a top-10 team, if not a top-five team. "It's just a matter of being con- sistent and playing focused every day, and playing like we played   OLYMPIC SPORTS STRONG STARTS Field Hockey Leads The Olympic Teams' Early Season Success With A Win Over No. 1 UNC Junior goalie Sam Swenson opened her season by earning the first two Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week honors. PHOTO COURTESY MICHIGAN ATHLETIC MEDIA RELATIONS

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