YPSILANTI — The Michigan women’s soccer team’s 6-2 win over Oakland yesterday at Eastern Michigan’s Scicluna Field probably didn’t seem out of the ordinary.
But the Wolverines (3-3-1) matched their win total from last season, when they went 3-9-6, in only their seventh game of the year.
“It has felt really good to win,” sophomore Amanda Bowery said. “We have been trying to get to .500 on the season and are extremely happy to reach our goal.”
Freshman Natalie Horner and Bowery had two goals each. Bowery has scored at least one goal in each of the last three games and now has four goals on the season.
“It doesn’t matter who scores in the game on our team because we have just been trying to get any of the players in the position to score,” Bowery said. “Recently, I have had open looks at the net and been able to score.”
Freshman Kim Siebert had a breakaway down the sideline early in the first half and sent a cross to the far post. The ball slipped past Oakland goalie Shannon Coley and Bowery was there to tap it in the net.
Michigan went into halftime leading 4-0 and never lost the lead.
In the second half, the Wolverines’ defense got tired and allowed the Golden Grizzlies to put two balls in the net. Oakland senior Kristi Evans scored a long-range goal, unguarded in the 64th minute.
Senior goalkeeper Madison Gates held the Grizzlies (1-4-1) scoreless in the first half with five saves, but after allowing two goals on two shots, Gates was replaced by redshirt sophomore Kristen Keane. Keane finished the game for Michigan but didn’t face any shots.
“We lose focus as the game goes on,” Michigan coach Greg Ryan said. “We talked about focusing for the whole game at halftime, but we clearly lost our intensity and focus in the second half.”
Michigan is a young team and has started to jell in the past couple games.
“My expectations were that the team would improve day-in and day-out,” Ryan said. “Our team has improved tremendously, and I am very happy with how they have done up to this point.”
Michigan will try to extend its winning streak when it heads west to take on Arizona and Arizona State next weekend. But Ryan isn’t focusing on the coming opponents.
“Most of the teams we are playing have a lot of seniors and experienced veterans,” Ryan said. “We have a bunch of young kids and just a few experienced players. I just wanted the team to enjoy today, and next week we are going to keep working on improving and not focusing on winning streaks.”