ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Appalachian State University field hockey battled fiercely in a tight 1-0 defeat at No. 9 Michigan on Saturday afternoon.
The Mountaineers (8-4, 1-2 MAC) kept the Wolverines scoreless through the contest’s first three quarters. Senior goalkeeper Rachel Gaines delivered nine saves through the first 53 minutes before Michigan (7-3) notched the game-winner with just under seven minutes remaining.
Less than two minutes after Michigan’s goal, Appalachian earned two penalty corners. The Mountaineers, however, were unable to register the equalizer.
App State provided the Wolverines their toughest challenge from a Mid-American Conference opponent this season. Michigan posted a pair of shutout victories over Central Michigan and Kent State earlier in 2019, outscoring the Chippewas and Golden Flashes 7-0 between the two matchups.
The Wolverines have also knocked off two ranked opponents in 2019, including a 3-2 win at home over No. 3 Connecticut. Michigan entered Saturday outscoring opponents 12-0 in regulation over its past four games.
App State provided pressure early in the first period, earning the game’s first penalty corner. Junior Veerle Van Heertum fired a shot wide off the insert from sophomore Friederike Stegen. Van Heertum led the Mountaineers with two shots, while senior Michelle Taylor also recorded a shot for App State.
The Black and Gold earned five penalty corners in Saturday’s contest, allowing the Wolverines just seven corners of their own.
Gaines made nine saves while facing 15 total shots from the Wolverines. The Kettering, Ohio native’s nine stops against Michigan is her second-highest save total of 2019. The senior amassed 12 saves against No. 1 UNC on Sept. 22.
App State closes out its three-game road stretch with a conference battle against Longwood (5-5, 1-1 MAC). The matchup on Oct. 12 is set to start at noon in Farmville, Va.