#4 Michigan 17 UCLA 13
WDIA National Championship - Round
Scottsdale, AZ -- Despite the intense 95 degree heat, #8 Michigan (17-4) kept its cool, overcoming a three goal deficit in the second half to earn an opening-round 17-13 victory over #9 UCLA (10-8). Senior Julie Baskind (Framingham, Mass./Framingham), sophomore Jess Stanley (Bloomfield Hills, Mich./Marian) and junior Amy Johnson (Washington, D.C./Holton-Arms) registered hat tricks to lead the Wolverine scoring charge.
Senior quad-captain Micaela Battiste (Flint, Mich./Grand Blanc) started off the scoring, finding the net 1:25 into the game. UCLA followed with back-to-back goals, taking a 2-1 lead five minutes into the contest. Stanley responded by bouncing home her first goal of the game on an eight-meter shot, knotting the score at 2-2. The teams traded goals until Michigan opened up an 8-6 advantage on a bounce shot from Johnson assisted by freshman Ani Shekerjian (Bloomfield Hills, Mich./Detroit Country Day).
UCLA closed out the half scoring consecutive goals to send the game into the intermission deadlocked at 8-8. The Bruins would pick up right where they left off, scoring three unanswered goals to build an 11-8 lead. Trailing by three, many teams might have panicked and lost focus but not Michigan.
"We kept our composure and never got panicky during the UCLA run," said assistant coach, Kasey Hughes. "We played solidly the whole game."
Baskind proved to be the spark for Michigan again, ending the UCLA run with a marker at 23:13, cutting the UM deficit to two. Senior Rachel Lary (San Diego, Calif./Torrey Pines) added a goal three minutes later to make it a one goal game. UCLA posted another tally to lead 12-10 before Michigan went on a run of its own.
"It's a long game and being down by three goals with a full half to go can't stop you. We knew we had to keep it up," said the All-American Baskind. "We slowed the ball down when we had to and our goals came at the right time."
Johnson bounced home two goals within thirty seconds of one another and UM led for the first time since the first half. UCLA tied it once more at 13-13 but then Michigan closed the game on a 4-0 run to put it out of reach.
With the sun blazing down on the players, the Wolverines used their depth to overcome the stifling desert heat as nine different players scored in the game. Along with the three hat tricks, senior Alexis Pavle (Grosse Pointe, Mich./Grosse Pointe South) and Lary added multi-goal efforts.
The Wolverine defense stepped it up to seal the victory, holding the explosive UCLA offense without a goal over the final twelve minutes. Freshman goalie, Emmy Schedit (Birmingham, Mich./Seaholm) made several key saves down the stretch and fellow freshman Kelsey Martin (Radnor, Pa./Radnor) intercepted a Bruin pass in the crease, leading to a Michigan goal on the other end.
Michigan will continue their quest for the program's first national championship against top-seeded UCSB tomorrow at 12:00 PM PT/3:00 PM ET. The Wolverines beat UCSB at the Santa Barbara Shootout on February 13th 7-6. Johnson led Michigan with three goals in that contest.
Game Notes: This game was a
rematch of the February 15th contest when
Michigan topped UCLA 8-7 in the Santa Barbara
Shootout...This is the first game of the season which
Michigan has come from behind to win when trailing in the
second half...Britt Boehm saw her nine game goal streak
snapped...Due to the extreme heat, tournament officials have
instituted a mandatory water break at the fifteen minute
mark of each half...With three goals in today's game,
Johnson now has six hat tricks on the season. Lary's
multi-goal game was her eighth of the season.
Senior Julie Baskind:
On playing in the extreme heat: "The heat is definitely the major factor out here. We're all in shape and can play a longer game if we have to. It's a disadvantage to everyone so we can't really use that as an excuse."
Senior Rachel Lary:
On the importance of draw controls in the second half: "Draw controls dictate how the game is going to go. There was a time in the second half when I was talking to the other captains and we knew that was the time we had to turn it around. I tried my hardest to pull it to spots where I knew we could beat the other players. We utilized time well passing the ball around waiting for the good cuts and open shots."
Assistant Coach, Kasey Hughes:
On the play of Julie Baskind: "Julie played a great heads up game. She outhustled everyone around her and came up with some great steals towards the end of the game that were key."