It took 91 minutes, but the Michigan women’s soccer team was able to beat Purdue 1-0 in overtime Saturday, completing its second consecutive shutout.
In a physical battle, the Wolverines came away with a win on Senior Night thanks to an excellent defensive effort.
Prior to the game, the Wolverines stressed one thing: leaving the seniors with a lasting memory.
After 90 minutes, the match was still tied at 0-0, and Michigan had outshot the Boilermakers, 11-7, but its objective was still incomplete.
Like the Wolverines’ previous game against Minnesota, this match required overtime. Just two minutes into the extra frame, junior forward Nicky Waldeck, off a pass from freshman forward Reilly Martin, broke free and scored the only goal of the game, giving Michigan and the seniors the final home victory of their season.
“I felt like tonight the girls were really aggressive taking their chances,” said Michigan coach Greg Ryan. “They’re doing really well.”
After a late loss to Wisconsin and a scoreless tie with Minnesota, Michigan (6-2-2 Big Ten, 11-5-2 overall) was in need of a win against Purdue (3-6-2, 8-8-1) in order to stay near the top of the conference standings. The match began balanced, as both teams’ defenses kept the opposing offense away from the goal.
“We always try to set play, and I think that just really helps our attacking line get the ball and get more shots off,” said senior defender Christina Murillo.
The Wolverines began to put more pressure on the Boilermakers’ defense by maneuvering through the field to create open shots, though Michigan was unable to put the ball in the net. The Purdue goalkeeper stood tall in the first half, deflecting tough shots and making key saves. Various offside calls early on stopped scoring opportunities for the Wolverines as well.
Michigan’s best scoring chance in the first half came in the 37th minute, when a Purdue defender got tangled up and lost control of the ball near her own goal. The ball found freshman midfielder Abby Kastroll, whose shot was stopped by the Boilermakers once again. At the end of the first half, the Wolverines had outshot Purdue, 5-3.
“In the locker room at halftime, it wasn’t really much changing anything, it was to continue to keep the foot on the gas,” Waldeck said. “It was to just not let up and continue what we did in the first half.”
Though Michigan played at a much faster pace than it did in the first half, both teams controlled the ball equally in the second half, with neither able to find the net. But the Wolverines persisted, and Waldeck’s tally left the seniors in good spirits.