After finding its momentum in the second half, the Michigan women's soccer team was able to pull off an upset win over Rutgers. Anna Fuder/Daily. Buy this photo.

Having momentum is crucial for any game. 

It took a while for the Michigan women’s soccer team to find that in its bout with No. 14 Rutgers Thursday night. Nevertheless, the momentum that it kept up throughout the latter half of the game was enough to lead it to a victory.

“We really felt like how we wanted to press them it started (working) toward the end of the first half I think to start to gain that momentum,” Michigan coach Jennifer Klein said. “We saw the success we were having going into halftime and I think having that … really gave us that motivation.”

As the Wolverines entered the game with only one conference win compared to the Scarlet Knights’ five, the odds were not in their favor.

By the 11th minute, Rutgers had already scored two goals. Things were not looking up for Michigan as it was not applying consistent pressure or connecting passes. The momentum was clearly lying with the Scarlet Knights.

But, even though the Wolverines were still down by two at the half, they entered the locker room confident and emerged with newfound energy and momentum.

“Coming back from a 2-0 deficit at halftime, we definitely knew what we had to do,” freshman midfielder Jenna Lang said.

After its first goal in the 64th minute off of a free kick by junior defender Sarah Bridenstine, Michigan shifted momentum. That further built with its consistent pressure and ability to maintain possession as it continued the second half.

It was clear that the Wolverines’ first goal was the catalyst that kept their momentum rolling: passes were beginning to connect and plays were starting to form.

Michigan scored another goal in the 77th minute. Junior midfielder Kacey Lawrence crossed the ball into the center of the box and Lang got a head on it to tip the ball into the goal.

“We weren’t satisfied with the tie,” Lang said. “We kind of needed the momentum to go forward.”

Now that they were tied, the Wolverines continued applying pressure, connecting passes and creating opportunities. Within minutes of its second goal, Michigan scored to take the lead.

This increase in momentum was not only seen in the three goals they scored, but also overall in their offensive possession. In the second half, the Wolverines tripled the amount of shots they took. Their ability to connect passes and create more openings near goal allowed them to take more shots, ultimately leading to their victory.

“It just was about us staying positive and just believing no matter what situation we got ourselves in,” Klein said. “If we just take it one step at a time, you give yourself the opportunity.”

By following Klein’s recipe, Michigan captured the momentum from Rutgers and secured an incredible comeback.