The Michigan women’s soccer team came into Saturday’s home game — its last of the year — undefeated. While the Wolverine offense was quick and agile, it had issues getting the ball into the back of net, ultimately losing to Ohio State, 2-1.
The quality of the game between the two rivals could not be done justice by the scoreboard. Both teams fought for the full 90 minutes, and though the score showed a loss, Michigan thought it owned the game.
“This was some of the best soccer we’ve played all year … in terms of passing, connecting and playing, but we should’ve done better with our finishing,” said Michigan coach Greg Ryan.
The Wolverine offense applied pressure on its opponents, switching the play when appropriate and keeping Ohio State goalkeeper Devon Kerr, who made a total of five saves, on her toes.
“We work on finishing all the time,” Ryan said. “It’s a staple of what we do. It just comes down to, when you get chances, take them well. And you’ve got to give their keeper some credit — I thought she had a really good night.”
Michigan dominated the game, which was played almost entirely on Ohio State’s half, outshooting the Buckeyes, 15-8, with a 6-0 corner kick advantage. The Wolverines finally scored in the 32nd minute when sophomore midfielder Abby Kastroll hit the ball into the net, taking advantage of sophomore forward Reilly Martin’s shot that bounced off Kerr.
However, the Buckeyes were like water on pavement in the few chances they had on net, and finished where Michigan couldn’t. Breaking away from Michigan’s defense five minutes into the game, they sunk the ball into the bottom left corner of the net.
“I thought we did a really good job applying the pressure.” said senior midfielder Jessica Heifetz. “It was our game plan to get after them early, and I think we did a really good job with the pressure, but I thought we could’ve done more to put more goals in the net. They were on our heels for most of the game. We had most of the possession and the shots show that.”