For the first 70 minutes of the Michigan women’s soccer team’s game against Nebraska on Sunday, the Wolverines failed to capitalize on seemingly endless scoring opportunities.

But, in the 71st minute, sophomore defender Chloe Sosenko scored from long-distance off a rebound to put the Wolverines ahead 1-0. It was Sosenko’s first goal of the season, and it couldn’t have come at a more opportune time for Michigan.

“Usually I always get the ball that pops out, so I just focus on keeping my head down, getting over the ball and line-driving it in,” Sosenko said.

After being held scoreless Friday night against Iowa, the Wolverines were desperate for a goal in order to end the weekend with a win.

Michigan had an abundance of opportunities before Sosenko’s goal, finishing the game with 22 shots, including many one-on-one opportunities with Nebraska goalie Emma Stevens. The Cornhuskers employed the defensive strategy of setting 11 players back behind the ball, which the Wolverines also faced and struggled with against Iowa on Friday. They used all 90 minutes plus an additional 11 overtime minutes to get passed this defense-first game plan, which they eventually did in the 2-1 victory.

“I’m pleased that they dug in and found a way to win,” said Michigan coach Greg Ryan.

Although Nebraska came right back with a goal of its own in the 71st minute, Michigan pulled out the victory after a goal in the 100th minute scored by junior forward Nkem Ezurike. Despite the failed offensive chances throughout the early part of the game, the Wolverines stayed determined to score within their game plan.

“We felt like the plan was good, we just had to execute better,” Ryan said.

“I feel like we got better at breaking it down during the course of the game. I feel like the girls really improved during the course of the game.”

As the game progressed, Michigan began to find holes in the Nebraska defense, creating multiple chances for goals. But until Sosenko’s goal, the Wolverines missed shots in seemingly every direction, including an opportunity by Ezurike in the 61st minute which went by the goalkeeper but skirted right outside of the post.

“We’ll usually have a big tackle that sets the tone and we’ll all dig in deep and fight extra hard,” Sosenko said.

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