By Inyoung Choi
No. 21 Stanford field hockey (1-2, 0-0 America East) will shoot for its second-straight victory when No. 7 Michigan (1-1, 0-0 Big Ten) visits the Farm on Friday. The Wolverines will be the Cardinal’s third ranked opponent in the first four games of the season.
The Michigan and Stanford field hockey teams have been at odds since the programs first met in 2007. The two schools have played a total of nine games, four of which Stanford has won. In last year’s matchup, the Cardinal broke a three-year losing streak to the Big Ten foe with a 4-2 triumph.
Stanford began this season with some bumps. Following consecutive losses to No. 15 Northwestern and No. 4 Connecticut, Stanford staged a minor comeback with its first win of the season on Tuesday against Quinnipiac. With three games in the book, Stanford has averaged three goals per game and a 0.214 shot percentage, well below the 0.249 shot percentage from last season.
Michigan, like Stanford, is coming off its first victory of the season, having won its most recent game against No. 10 Wake Forest. Having played only two games, Michigan has produced a 0.556 shot percentage, scoring five goals out of nine shots. The succinct number of shots stands out among other teams in the league — No. 1 North Carolina has a shot percentage of 0.316 after making six of its 19 shots.
Both teams enter with strong offense. Junior All-American attacker Corinne Zanolli led the Cardinal in goals made last season with 26, the highest single-season record for a Stanford field hockey player. She has four of Stanford’s nine goals this season.
Michigan midfield Meg Dowthwaite, a former All-American who entered this season with 34 career goals, continues her final season journey. The senior has already netted three goals in the opening two matchups of the season.
Dowthwaite will be a formidable force of the Wolverine offense when Michigan visits Varsity Field Hockey Turf on Friday at 7 p.m. PST.