Wolverines suffer first defeat at Cal State Northridge

By Alejandro Zuniga, For the Daily
Published August 30, 2012

Cal State Northridge midfielder Cori Deason scored a one-time shot in in 79th minute, and that tally was enough to topple the Michigan women's soccer team for the first time this season.

The Matadors’ speed wreaked havoc on the Wolverines defense throughout the match, forcing Michigan's back line into several uncharacteristic turnovers. For long stretches of the game, Cal State Northridge controlled possession and pressured the Wolverines’ goalkeeper, redshirt senior Haley Kopmeyer.

During the first half, Kopmeyer shined for Michigan, making two difficult saves to keep Cal State Northridge off the scoreboard. In the 27th minute, Kopmeyer deflected a shot over the crossbar. Minutes later, she dove to save sophomore defender Amanda Smith’s strong bid on goal.

Two Wolverines made their season debuts against Cal State Northridge. Shelina Zadorsky and Nkem Ezurike entered as substitutes late in the first half, both rejoining the team after representing Canada in the under-2o women’s World Cup in Japan. Ezurike, a junior, gave the Wolverines a more physical presence, which almost paid off in the 44th minute when the striker’s driving shot was saved by Matador goalkeeper Cynthia Jacobo.

The first half ended in a scoreless draw, and Ezurike’s late bid was Michigan’s only shot on target in the first 45 minutes.

The Wolverines earned a clear goal-scoring opportunity just two minutes into the second half, but could not capitalize. Michigan junior forward Shelby Chambers-Garcia beat the goalkeeper with a chip shot, but her attempt also cleared the goalposts and sailed inches over the bar.

In the 68th minute, Jacobo made an impressive save on Michigan’s Tori McCombs. As McCombs broke away from the Northridge defense, the Matador keeper charged off of her line and smothered the Wolverine midfielder’s effort.

Cal State Northridge’s persistent pressure finally wore down the Wolverines, who were playing away from Ann Arbor for the first time this year. When Cori Deason beat Kopmeyer with her near post bullet, it became just the second goal surrendered by Michigan this season.

After Deason’s goal, the Wolverines attacked with greater tenacity. However, they could not break through the Matador defense and managed only three shots on goal.

Michigan will now travel south and prepare for Sunday’s clash at 11th-ranked Long Beach State. It will be the highest-ranked team Michigan has played since a 2010 NCAA Tournament match against 6th-ranked Oklahoma State.