After shutting down the Wisconsin Badger offense on Sunday, redshirt freshman goalie Haley Kopmeyer etched her name into the Michigan record books and earned another Big Ten Rookie of the Week title— her second in three weeks.
With the 0-0 standstill in Ann Arbor, Kopmeyer received her fifth shutout in 12 starts this season, which tied Megan Tuura’s 2003 record for shutouts by a first-year goaltender. Kopmeyer still has three regular-season games left to break it. The rookie goalie was quick to credit her teammates, who have allowed just five goals in nine games since Sept. 16.
“(The record) is a real honor,” said Kopmeyer, who has kept the starting position since the fourth game of the year. “It kind of shows how well we’ve been doing as a defense … and for me personally to get my ankle better and come back, it’s just kind of nice to see it’s paying off.”
The scoreless game saw the Michigan keeper, who struggled with injuries during her redshirt year, improve her record to 3-4-5 in net, while lowering her goals-against average to 0.97 goals per game, the fifth-best mark in Michigan history.
The win also helped Kopmeyer improve her unbeaten home record to 3-0-4.
Second-year head coach Greg Ryan commended his goalie on her accomplishments, but also gave credit to the Michigan team as a whole (0-2-5 Big Ten, 5-7-5 overall) for limiting the number of opponent scoring opportunities all season. Kopmeyer has maintained the third-best save percentage in team history to this point, with a .845 save percentage on 71 shots.
“Haley is the back line of defense,” Ryan said. “She is playing really well, but all the players in front of her are doing a great job of limiting the scoring chances. I think that is a credit to the whole defense.”
Kopmeyer was selected as the Big Ten Rookie of the Week, after she held Minnesota and Wisconsin scoreless for 220 consecutive minutes, following an early goal to the Golden Gophers on Friday.
“It’s great to see that the hard work is paying off,” Kopmeyer said. “It’s a nice compliment to receive, and it’s a compliment not only to me but also our defense.”
Teammates have been impressed with her performance and are grateful that she gives the team an opportunity to win each game, even with a struggling offense that is averaging under 1.06 goals per game.
“She has really been great for us,” junior team captain Jackie Carron said of Kopmeyer’s importance to the team. “Having Haley so confident really makes (the team) confident in ourselves, and it has helped us play better together.”
Ryan said it is important to have players like Kopmeyer around for the next few years to guide the young team, which will lose just three seniors at the end of the season.
“Every player on this team that contributed to our success this year has been a part of building the foundation of the future, and Haley has been a big part of that,” Ryan said.