It’s well known that the Michigan women’s soccer players know
how to put it all on the line, give 110 percent and get a win out
on the field. But could that effort and talent be showcased when
teammates clashed over a foosball table at the Michigan Union? Last
Thursday night, the world found out.

Janna Hutz
The blue team swiftly recovered and took the next two games, after which Cottrell let out an emphatic “In your face!” (TONY DING/Daily)
Janna Hutz
From left: Katelin Spencer, Megan Tuura, Brenna Mulholland, Suzie Grech and Lindsay Cottrell. (TONY DING/Daily)

Senior goalkeeper Suzie Grech teamed up with freshman defender
Lindsay Cottrell against the freshman trio of goalkeeper Megan
Tuura and defender/midfielders Brenna Mulholland and Katelin
Spencer in an epic foosball match initially designed to settle the
score between Grech and Tuura.

The two goalies have split time on the field all season,
each usually playing one half of a game. Both have had successful
seasons – Grech got her 25th career shutout this year against
Minnesota, and Tuura made a career high eight saves in Michigan’s
upset of Notre Dame last week – and both will be central to the
team’s success this weekend at the Big Ten Tournament. Even though
Grech and Tuura professed to have developed a “great friendship,”
it was obvious that the senior and freshman needed an arena to duke
it out and decide who was the better (foosball) player, once and
for all.

In the first game, the team of Tuura and Mulholland managed to
slip in a few early goals and rode their lead to a 5-3 victory. The
senior Grech shook off the loss quickly.

“Well, Lindsay and I felt very bad for the other two, so we
decided to give them the first game,” Grech said. “We are good
sports and really didn’t want to see Megan, Brenna and Spence going
home with nothing. But once the first game ended, it was on.”

The duo made a crucial change between the first two games when
Grech moved from defense to offense to take charge of the
offense.

“When Suzie switched from defense to offense, she posed a
terrific threat that obviously cost us the last two games,” Tuura
said about the switch. “She took some powerful shots that were
impossible to defend.”

Grech said the decision to switch was “a team
decision.”

“(We knew that) Lindsay was a little more experienced in
foosball and she would be a better defender, plus I can pull out
the attacking moves when necessary,” Grech said. “Once that switch
occurred, the game was over for them.”

After a quick 5-2 loss in the second game, Spencer subbed in for
Mulholland on the other side of the table, but it was just too
little, too late.

“It’s tough to defend such an amazing forward,” Tuura said. “It
started off a little slow with Katelin, but we got into a rhythm
and scored two goals before Suzie knocked in the game-winner.”

Grech and Cottrell were victorious by a score of 5-3 in the
third game, and took the match two games to one. Grech cited
experience as one of the factors in the important turning moment in
the match.

“My experience was a factor in the switching of positions,”
Grech said. “I think if we played this game three years ago, I
wouldn’t have had the knowledge of the game of foosball (to make
that switch).

“We still would have won three years earlier,” she added.

Tuura agreed that the senior’s extra years of table
soccer-playing gave her an advantage.

“I’m not very experienced at foosball and I guess those extra
three years Suzie had on me were crucial,” Tuura said. “I just
didn’t have the wrist strength to create the power she has.”

Of Grech’s knack for goal-scoring, Tuura said, “I think she
could have quite a career up front.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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