All good things must come to an end – but there’s no harm in going out with a bang.
Senior captain Andrea Kayal made her last game at the Varsity Soccer Field a memorable one, scoring both of Michigan’s goals as the No. 21 women’s soccer team topped Oakland 2-0.
“It’s good to get a win under our belt in our last home game,” Michigan coach Debbie Rademacher said. “It was a big Senior Day, and a really emotional one.”
Most of the first half was played at midfield in a defensive chess match. Michigan’s best opportunity came early in the game when forward Abby Crumpton drove toward the goal and faked out three defenders, only to have a fourth kick it away before she could take a shot. The two teams combined for a meager four shots on goal, and the score was tied 0-0 going into the lockerroom at halftime.
“I thought defensively, we played well,” Rademacher said. “We had a tough time getting shots off. They played real tough on Abby (Crumpton) and they were very aggressive and physical.”
Michigan needed a big break to score on a strong Oakland defense.
The Wolverines got that break 20 minutes into the second half in the form of what Rademacher called a “killer pass.”
Out of the corner, Freshman defender Colleen McAndrews fired a crossing pass to Kayal, who headed it in to give Michigan (7-2-1 Big Ten, 12-4-1 overall) a 1-0 lead.
A minute later, Oakland (3-2 Mid-Continent Conference, 7-10) almost stole the momentum right back. Kristi Swaving slipped through the Michigan defense and launched a shot at goalie Suzie Grech. Grech protected the Michigan lead, leaping into the air and punching the ball over the crossbar.
With 14 minutes left in the game, Kayal added to the Michigan lead with a header off of a Michigan free kick. After the goal, fellow senior Amy Sullivant, who also provided the assist, got down on her knees and bowed to Kayal as if she were a god.
“It felt awesome. It was a great feeling scoring for the team,” Kayal said. “Everything I do, I do for them.”
On Friday, Michigan had to settle for a tie with in-state rival Michigan State. Freshman Therese Heaton scored the Wolverines’ only goal of the day in the 1-1 tie against the Spartans. Michigan will travel to Kentucky this Friday to play its final regular season game before the Big Ten Tournament Nov. 7-10.