Michigan falters in second half of loss to Wisconsin

Friday, October 16, 2015 - 12:05am

The Wisconsin women’s soccer team came back from a two-goal deficit against Michigan on Thursday night in Madison, scoring three goals in the last 30 minutes for a 3-2 win.

The Wolverines (5-2 Big Ten, 10-5 overall) and Badgers went into the game tied for second in the Big Ten. After a last-second Michigan win in the match a year ago, Wisconsin was eager for revenge.

With the majority of the posession split between the two teams, Michigan put its focus toward offense, outshooting Wisconsin, 15-9.

“The few chances they got, they put in the back of the net, and I think that was really the difference of the game,” said Michigan coach Greg Ryan.

The Wolverines lost momentum in the second half after the Badgers scored their first goal in the 66th minute, when midfielder McKenna Meuer scored on a corner kick by midfielder Micaela Powers.

In the last 10 minutes of the game, Wisconsin (6-1, 9-4) both equalized the score and took the lead. With 10:54 to go in the match, midfielder Kinley McNicoll answered a cross from forward Sydney McGinnis, which was followed by a goal just two minutes later from forward Nikki Greenhalgh straight into the back corner past Michigan sophomore goalie Megan Hinz.

The Wolverines allowed the Badgers a comeback after failing to capitalize on on opportunities in the second half. With six more shots than the Badgers, the Wolverines were left with many near-goal opportunities.

“I honestly thought we dominated the second half and had multiple chances for goals number three, four and five,” Ryan said.

Following a hat trick in Michigan’s 3-1 win over Illinois on Oct. 11, redshirt sophomore forward Ani Sarkisian scored the first goal of the game at the 25-minute mark. Sarkisian dribbled past five defenders and finished a shot just inside the 18-yard box, sliding the ball past Wisconsin goalie Caitlyn Clem.

The Wolverines ended the first half with a 1-0 lead, outshooting the Badgers, 3-1. The Badgers’ first shot on goal was a header from midfielder Victoria Pickett that was called off based on a foul. 

Michigan junior midfielder Jessica Heifetz took advantage of a loose ball in the box after a corner kick, giving the Wolverines a 2-0 lead. With an assist from senior midfielder Christina Murillo, Heifetz was in the right place at the right time.  

The Wolverines face Minnesota on Sunday, followed by Purdue and Penn State. With the Big Ten Tournament starting Nov. 1, the Wolverines are looking forward to games against competitive conference foes.

“I told the team tonight if we play as well as we did today, we’re gonna win the most of the rest of the games,” Ryan said. “I think the key is getting ready for Sunday.”