Faster than a speeding bullet, slide-tackling with reckless abandon, scoring a goal while being defended by three fullbacks, Abby Crumpton was the Michigan women”s soccer team”s own superwoman this weekend.
Crumpton scored three goals in two games, but that was only part of her dominating performance.
Yesterday against Purdue, she kept the pressure on the fullbacks up front. She managed to move the ball around defenders for breakaways several times, but like her teammates, she was unable to capitalize.
Michigan”s frustration on the field resulted from an inability to keep possession of the ball in the midfield. After the first ten minutes of the first half, the Wolverines seemed to be chasing the Boilermakers as they tried to regain control.
“I don”t think we were winning enough balls in the midfield,” Michigan coach Debbie Rademacher said. “It just wasn”t happening.”
Michigan scored the only goal of the game with 25:53 left in the second half. Amy Sullivant took a corner kick and aimed it towards the near goal post.
Purdue midfielder Jenna Silverman headed the ball into her own net for the goal.
Michigan goalkeeper Suzie Grech earned her sixth shutout of the season. She is one shut-out away from tying the school record, held by Carissa Stewart.
The opposite of the lackluster win yesterday was the fast-paced, dominating play of the Wolverines against No. 23 Indiana on Friday night. Michigan”s 4-2 win marked the first time this season that Michigan defeated a ranked opponent.
Playing in front of returning alumni on Homecoming weekend, Crumpton put on a scoring clinic. Crumpton”s first goal came with 38:04 left in the first half. On an assist from Kate Morgan, she broke away from two defenders and pushed the ball past the goalie to finish with an open net in front of her.
The second tremendous display from Crumpton was in between two defenders. She turned quickly, putting the ball on her right side, and then blasted a shot past the goalie. Sullivant got her fifth assist, of the season.
A third Michigan goal courtesy of Theresa Dwyer with ten minutes left in the half took away any remaining hopes for the Hoosiers to turn the momentum around.
Ten minutes into the second half, Crumpton completed her hat trick.
“I feel that I haven”t been playing to my potential the past four games, and today I wanted to show my teammates and my coaches what I can do out there,” Crumpton said.
Indiana scored twice in the second half, but one of the goals was controversial. Kara Kornfeld fired a shot that Bre Bennett caught with her body behind the goal and her arms outstretched as she tried to keep the ball in front of the goal line.
The referee contended that the ball crossed the goal line along with Bennett”s body, giving the Hoosiers their second and final goal of the game.
The one constant throughout the weekend for the Wolverines was the strong play of the defense. Both Andrea Kayal and Carly Williamson stepped up to limit Indiana and Purdue to only two combined goals.
“We stress throughout the season that you can”t just allow your backs to defend,” Rademacher said. “We need defense from our forwards and our midfielders because that helps our backs.
“We did that as a unit pretty well this weekend.”