The fall team sports have all kicked off their Big Ten seasons. Among the non-rev four there’s only been one loss, and even that was a shootout loss to a similarly ranked team in Field Hockey. Some big games this week give the various Wolverines teams an opportunity to set the tone, and the individual sport fall seasons are just heating up.
This Week’s One Thing
#9 Field Hockey v. #24 Michigan State, Sun Oct 6, 4p
Anytime the Wolverines play Michigan State it’s a strong candidate to be my recommendation for what you should go to if you’re picking one non-rev sport to attend. This ranked matchup between in-state rivals should be fierce. The Spartans got the best of Michigan in the exhibition season, and the Wolverines will be looking for revenge in the one that counts. MSU has begun its Big Ten season 0-3, and Michigan will be the third straight top 10 team they’ve faced. MSU will be looking for to get its season back on track, while Michigan will look to secure its place among the Big Ten’s elite. There’s no Lions game, it’s supposed to be a nice afternoon, and field hockey games are always free. This one’s a Maize Out at Ocker Field, and if you can’t make it it’ll be on TV on BTN.
TV This Week:
Thu Oct 3: #24 Women’s Soccer @ #13 Wisconsin, 9p (ET), BTN
Fri Oct 4: Volleyball @ Maryland, 6p, BTN
Sun Oct 6: #9 Field Hockey v. #24 MSU, 4p, BTN
Most other home and conference matches are on BTN+
#24 Women’s Soccer (8-2-1, 3-0-1 B1G)
Last Week: 2-1 W v. Purdue, 0-0 T v. Indiana
Upcoming: Thu Oct 3, 9p (ET) @ #13 Wisconsin (BTN), Sun Oct 6, 1p v. Nebraska
Women’s soccer has continued their hot streak, which now extends to six consecutive unbeaten games. At long last, they have been rewarded with a ranking, sneaking into the poll at #24, with a huge opportunity this week to better that ranking. On Friday the Wolverines hosted Purdue, scoring their first just 49 seconds into the match, with Raleigh Loughman continuing her impressive sophomore effort with her fourth goal. Loughman also earned the assist on the second goal, hitting Sarah Stratagakis with a perfect rolling free kick into the box:
Purdue added one late but it wasn’t enough. On Sunday, Indiana and Michigan held each other scoreless for 110 minutes, with Hillary Beall earning her fifth cleansheet of the year in the draw. Beall and the Wolverine defense have yet to give up more than one goal in a match.
Michigan travels to #13 Wisconsin for a Thursday night matchup on BTN. The winner will be the Big Ten’s last undefeated team, with Wisconsin standing at 3-0. Wisconsin’s defense is just as formidable as Michigan’s, and it’s only losses have come on the road to top 20 teams. Michigan then comes home for a game against Nebraska, who has opened B1G play at 2-2 but is only 3-6-2 overall. The Nebraska match is the front half of a doubleheader with the men.
Men’s Soccer (3-2-3, 1-0-2 B1G)
Last Week: 0-0 T v. @ Penn St, 2-0 W @ OSU
Upcoming: Sun Oct 6, 4p v. Northwestern, Sun Oct 9, 7:30p v. Detroit Mercy
Men’s soccer opened its Big Ten season with two consecutive ties, following up last week’s rain-shortened match with Rutgers with a 110-minute scoreless stalemate at Penn St. Penn St had a player sent off shortly into overtime, but the 10-men Nittany Lions were still able to hold off the Wolverines attack. Michigan stayed on the road, heading to rival Ohio State. Michigan picked up it’s first Big Ten win, a 2-0 contest that extended their unbeaten streak to five. The Wolverines were held scoreless in the first half, before freshman Christian Pulselli scored his first Michigan goal in the 58th minute off a corner from Marc Ybarra. Jackson Ragen added a second at 80’ and that was all she wrote.
Michigan will stay home this week, starting with a match against a Northwestern team that is 1-1-1 in the Big Ten. The loss is to a top 10 Indiana team. A Michigan win (or draw) will keep them undefeated at the halfway point of the Big Ten season. Michigan then lines up a mid-season non-conference opponent, hosting a struggling Detroit Mercy squad.
#9 Field Hockey (6-3, 1-1 B1G)
Last Week: 5-0 W @ Indiana, 1-0 L (SO) @ Northwestern
Upcoming: Sat Oct 5, 2p v. App St, Sun Oct 6, 4p v. #24 MSU (BTN)
Michigan opened the Big Ten season last week with a huge 5-0 win over Indiana. The Wolverines held Indiana to just one shot on the day, and Fay Keijer scored two including this batted ball:
The Field Hockey Twitter credited Keijer with a third for a hat trick, but it looks like the official scorer ruled it an assist. Michigan then went to #7 Northwestern for a matchup of Big Ten powers. The teams spent all 60 minutes at a scoreless deadlock before spending another 20 looking for an OT goal. The resulting shootout went six rounds, with Northwestern winning 5-4 after a Michigan goal to extend the contest was taken off the board. Ultimately, going scoreless with another top 10 team is not a bad result, and the voters agreed, keeping the Wolverines at #9.
As a warm-up to the big rivalry matchup mentioned above on Sunday, the Wolverines will welcome App State to town (why does the athletic department keep doing this?). The Mountaineers are 7-3.
Volleyball (9-3, 2-0 B1G)
Last Week: 3-0 W v. OSU
Upcoming: Fri Oct 4, 6p @ Maryland (BTN), Sun Oct 6, 1p @ OSU
Michigan volleyball continued its dominant start to the Big Ten season by sweeping Ohio State 3-0 at Crisler Arena. Michigan did not allow OSU to eclipse 20 points in any set. Following the win, May Pertofsky earned B1G Freshman of the Week honors, owing to her six blocks. Despite it’s 2-0 record in conference play, Michigan remains on the wrong side of the “Also Receiving Votes” line, slotting in at a theoretical 29th.
Michigan will look to continue its hot Big Ten start in the first two games of what will be a four-game road trip. Michigan first heads to College Park for a match against Maryland that will be aired on BTN. Maryland has begun it’s B1G season 0-2, and has only won one set in conference play. They’ll look to right the ship against Michigan. Michigan then heads to Columbus, where they can hopefully maintain last week’s standards and climb back into the polls.
#7 Women’s Cross Country
Last Week: Big Ten Preview, Columbus, OH, 1st of 12
Michigan travelled to Columbus and won the Big Ten Preview, with about half of the Big Ten participating. Michigan was the highest-ranked team in attendance, and maintained its #7 national ranking. Yet again the standout performer for Michigan was freshman Ericka VanderLende, who won the meet with a 20:17.9 time over the 6k (that’s a 5:26 mile, 6k is about 3.75 miles). She earned her third Big Ten Athlete of the Week award, as well as National Athlete of the Week. Michigan had two more athletes in the top 10, with Kathryn House coming in sixth and Maddy Trevisan coming in 9th.
Women’s XC is off this week.
#16 Men’s Cross Country
Last Week: Big Ten Preview, Columbus, OH, T-2nd of 9
Upcoming: Fri Oct 4, 1:45p, Joe Piane Notre Dame Invitational, South Bend, IN
The men also fared well at the Big Ten preview, earning a second-place tie with Grand Valley St. The meet winner was Penn St. Michigan was the only Big Ten team with any top five runners, and the only team with two, with Jacob Branch earning 3rd and Jacob Lee two seconds behind him in 4th. Ultimately, Michigan couldn’t match Penn St’s depth, as the Nittany Lions put five runners in the top 20. Michigan held at #16.
Michigan will head to Notre Dame this weekend, for a 21 team meet. Notre Dame is ranked #9, and the Wolverines will be joined by conference-mates #19 Indiana and #21 Purdue.
Upcoming: Mon-Tue Oct 7-8, Fighting Irish Classic, South Bend, IN
The men’s golf team embarks on one of its final three events of the fall season in South Bend. The Irish have been extremely successful so far this season, winning their first two events and besting the Wolverines at Inverness, where Notre Dame placed third.
Last Week: Windy City Collegiate, Golf, IL, T-14th of 15.
While there is no doubt that following up their impressive opener at Inverness by tying for last place is somewhat disappointing, this tournament was absolutely stacked, and a bottom five performance was likely for Michigan. 10 teams in the field are in the top 25. It would have been nice to see Michigan sneak into 9th or beat one of its Big Ten peers, but sometimes you have bad days on the links. Hailey Borja again led the Wolverines, coming in at +1 on the tournament, good for a tie for 19th. That was the only Wolverine inside the top 50.
Women’s golf is off this week.
Upcoming: Thu-Sun Oct 3-6, Women’s Collegiate Classic, Malibu CA
Mon-Wed Oct 7-9, ITA Women’s All-American Championships, Tulsa, OK
This week women’s tennis will send some of it’s competitors to the Women’s Collegiate Classic, at Pepperdine. Michigan is sending a strong contingent to play West Coast and southern competition. Chiara Lommer, ranked #26 nationally in for college singles players, will open against a competitor from Pepperdine, and #47 Giulia Pairone will open against San Diego. Freshman Andrea Cerdan and Junior Alyvia Jones will also compete.
After the Collegiate Classic Lommer and Pairone will head to the ITA Women’s All-American Championships in Tulsa as Michigan’s only two qualifiers. This is one of the major national singles tournaments, and they will compete both as a doubles pair and individuals. As a doubles pair they will need to participate in qualifying, but as singles they have qualified directly to the main draw. Doubles qualifying begins Monday, while singles play begins Wednesday.
Upcoming: Mon-Wed Oct 7-9, ITA Men’s All-American Championships, Tulsa, OK
Freshman Ondrej Styler will also head to Tulsa, and will participate in the qualifying rounds of the All-American Championships starting Monday, before hopefully moving on to the main tournament starting Wednesday. With any luck we are still talking about this tournament in next week’s column.
Upcoming: Thu Oct 3, 5p @ MSU, Wed Oct 9, 5p v. MSU (exhibition)
Michigan postponed its exhibition @ MSU from Wednesday to Thursday. They will host the return game next Wednesday afternoon. Admission is free.