Some things are unforgettable. After scoring a goal in the last 30 seconds of the first overtime period in the NCAA Tournament semifinals last season, the Illinois women’s soccer team taunted the Wolverines by celebrating in front of Michigan’s bench. yesterday afternoon, the No. 14 Wolverines watched that game on video and then used it as inspiration to steamroll the Fighting Illini, 4-1.

Paul Wong
Michigan senior Abby Crumpton kicks the ball against Illinois yesterday. She leads the Wolverines with five goals and 16 points this season.

“Illinois beat us twice last year, and it definitely gave us some motivation coming in,” Michigan coach Debbie Rademacher said.

Michigan could put seven just shots on goal in the first half, but four of them went in.

“We definitely did a good job finishing,” Rademacher said.

Michigan got on the board first with a goal by Crumpton, a returning All-Big Ten first team member, assisted by Amy Sullivant and Therese Heaton.

Five minutes later, Illinois tied the game up with an unassisted goal by Tara Hurless – a shot which slipped right through the fingertips of Michigan goalkeeper Suzie Grech. After Hurless’ goal, the Wolverines took complete control. Crumpton scored again at the 21- minute mark to give the Wolverines a 2-1 lead. Freshman Stephanie Boyles added a goal shortly thereafter to give Michigan a commanding two-goal lead.

“I think we’ve come out slow in the past four games, minus Friday (against Iowa),” Crumpton said. “Yesterday and Friday, we took it to them and got quick goals.”

Michigan forward Stephanie Chavez came in near the end of the first half to give Crumpton a much needed break, and ended up giving the crowd the game’s most spectacular goal. Chavez launched a bullet from about 40 yards out straight into the net to give the Wolverines an imposing 4-1 lead going into halftime.

When the horn sounded, the score at halftime was the final score, and Michigan upped its record to 6-1 on the season. Crumpton finished with two goals, and Sullivant added three assists.

“(Sullivant’s) vision is just awesome. She can really play the long ball,” Crumpton said. “The other team always has to mark her and it really opens up the field for us.”

On Friday, Michigan won its Big Ten opener against Iowa, 2-1. Junior Erika Kleinholz scored one of the goals and assisted on the other. Heaton added the other goal, and Crumpton assisted Kleinholz.

Michigan will continue Big Ten play on Friday at Wisconsin.

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