With about three minutes left to play, freshman goalkeeper Owen Finnerty dove out from his near post to cut off a low cross into the box. The crowd roared. The radio announcer’s voice grew excited as he finally got to commend the keeper on his first collegiate save.
Hillary Beall came to Ann Arbor typifying what it means to be a highly-touted prospect. The No. 1 goalkeeper in the class of 2017 according to Top Drawer Soccer, Beall was expected to become an elite keeper for the Wolverines. After all, the shot-stopper was a five-star prospect and had already accumulated an impressive junior international resume as an 18-year-old.
If the Wolverines were seeking a challenge, they had to look no further than the first five games of the season. Four of those matches came against ranked opponents, three of which were in the top ten: No. 10 Wake Forest, No. 3 Connecticut and No. 1 North Carolina. With No. 21 Stanford rounding out the quartet of top-tier opponents, the Wolverines’ opening schedule was anything but easy.
Shortly after her team snapped a 327 minute scoreless streak en route to a 2-0 victory, Michigan coach Jennifer Klein stood on the pitch explaining what it took for the team to finally find the back of the net.
It wasn’t that the link-up play was sloppy or that the team couldn’t march their way towards their opponent’s 18-yard box. The offense’s lack of production boiled down to the failure to adhere to one simple phrase.
“If you wanna score goals,” Klein said “you gotta shoot the ball.”
After an illustrious but injury-ridden career, Erin Finn is grateful to just get to finish one last season as a Wolverine.
A graduate student who grew up running 45 minutes north of Ann Arbor in West Bloomfield has experienced some of her highest and lowest moments while at Michigan.
She holds four school records and is a ten-time Big Ten Champion as well as a nine-time All-American. But her career has been full of challenges as a recurrent stress fracture in her foot plagued her time at Michigan.
Each senior has found success separately, with countless accolades, from All-Big Ten Honors to NCAA Championships, split between the two. But it is only right that the pair shone most brightly on their senior night as just that — a pair.