By Carly Boddy, Daily Sports Writer
Published August 28, 2011
With hardly two minutes left in the first half on Sunday, the Michigan women’s soccer team was trailing DePaul 1-0.
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But that deficit didn’t last long — Michigan coach Greg Ryan made sure of it.
“With (DePaul’s) first goal, we didn’t pick up the dangerous players,” Ryan said. “We had the people back there to do it, but we didn’t deal with them. I told the girls that needed to get better in the second half.”
And the Wolverines followed suit and stepped it up, cruising to a 3-1 victory over the Blue Demons in the second game of the Michigan Invitational in Ann Arbor.
With just two minutes left in the first half, senior defender Kristen Goncalves crossed the ball to sophomore forward Shelby Chambers-Garcia, who buried it in the top left corner of the net.
The game was tied up at the half.
According to Ryan, the Wolverines just “hit the green light,” as junior captain Clare Stachel and freshman forward Chloe Sosenko both scored on give-and-go assists from power forward Nkem Ezurike in the second half.
In the second half, redshirt junior goalkeeper Haley Kopmeyer shut out all six of DePaul’s attempts.
“We had problems with DePaul in the first 20 minutes,” Ryan said. “We fell behind and we weren’t focused. But, this is the most attack-oriented team I’ve seen since being at Michigan. To come back with three goals after being down one in the first half — it was really fantastic.”
And that all came after Michigan’s 6-0 victory over Duquesne in its first game of the invitational on Friday.
Freshman midfielder Christina Murillo tallied three assists in the game, tying the program record for the most assists in a single game.
Kopmeyer played her 11th career shutout, and senior midfielder Courtney Mercier headed the ball into the net just five minutes into play. Ezurike also scored her third goal of the season.
The Wolverines showed depth and energy — all six goals against Duquesne were scored by different players. Against DePaul, two of the goals were by players just off of the bench.
After the invitational was over, the players were glowing and Ryan was smiling.
“Today we really found our attacking style,” Ryan said. “They came to our home turf, knocked us around, and we learned to deal with it. We didn’t play their style of soccer, but we adapted to play faster than they could knock us.”
This Friday, the Wolverines will travel to California for their first away match of the season against UC Riverside.