Nov. 18, 2001
The University of Michigan used a stellar defensive performance to complete an improbable run through the NCAA Division I Field Hockey Championship with a 2-0 victory over second-seeded University of Maryland in the national championship game Sunday (Nov. 18) at Kent, Ohio.
The unseeded Wolverines scored a goal in each half and senior keeper Maureen Tasch made it stand up as Michigan claimed its first NCAA women's team title in any sport. Tasch made 11 saves --- several of them spectacular --- in posting her eighth shutout of the season.
The teams staged a defensive battle in the first half before Michigan's Adrienne Hortillosa scored off a corner with just 2:13 remaining on an assist by Kristi Gannon. That was all the scoring the Wolverines would need.
In the second half, Maryland, which entered the championship game as the nation's top scoring team (4.6 gpg), turned up its offensive pressure but could not break through. The Terrapins outshot Michigan 10-1 in the final 35 minutes, only to be turned away time and time again by Tasch and the Wolverines' defense.
Meanwhile, Michigan's only shot and only corner of the second half resulted in an insurance goal by Jessica Rose, who scored at the 29:30 Smark on another assist by Gannon. For the game, Maryland outshot U-M 19-6 and outcornered the Wolverines 9-4.
"I'm very, very proud of our team," said Michigan head coach Marcia Pankratz. "I'm really thrilled at our team effort. I think we play hard and very well together, and our corner defense was just amazing today. I'm very happy to bring a national title home for the Wolverines."
Maryland, which was aiming for its fourth NCAA field hockey title, had been shut out only once previously this season, a 1-0 overtime loss Oct. 14 to 2000 national champion Old Dominion University. The loss also ended the Terps' nine-game winning streak dating to the ODU game.
"We played like real warriors," Maryland head coach Missy Meharg said. "Their goalie was outstanding. Michigan was very opportunistic. We played 70 minutes of real hard hockey but we wouldn't capitalize."
With the win, Michigan claimed the Big Ten Conference's second field hockey title following the University of Iowa (1986). The Wolverines had finished third in the Big Ten regular-season standings and lost in the semifinals of the conference tournament.
Tasch, Gannon and Hortillosa were joined on the all-tournament team by teammates Stephanie Johnson and April Fronzoni, Maryland's Dina Rizzo, Autumn Welsh, Colleen Barbieri and Caroline Walter, and Wake Forest University's Kelly Doton and Heather Aughinbaugh.