There have been plenty of ones and zeros on the Michigan score
sheet during the year, and this weekend was no exception. This
time, though, the women’s soccer team was on the winning end of two
1-0 games against Iowa and Central Michigan.
Yesterday, the Wolverines (3-2-4 Big Ten, 5-5-6 overall) came
out flat in the first half. Central Michigan (4-4-1 MAC, 7-6-2) got
just about every loose ball and put lots of pressure on the
Michigan defense and freshman goalie Megan Tuura.
The Chippewas’ best chance came with 13 minutes remaining in the
half, when Jacqui Lorenzo hit a corner kick that was headed for the
goal until it was batted away by an outstretched Tuura.
Michigan struggled on offense and could not even manage a shot
on goal in the opening stanza. The Wolverines repeatedly attempted
passes that either went out of bounds or were intercepted.
“We played one of our worst halves of the year,” coach Debbie
Rademacher said. “We were lucky to get out of it tied
The Wolverines came out stronger in the second half and
eventually challenged the Central Michigan keeper. With 27 minutes
remaining, the Wolverines were rewarded with a free kick at the top
of the box. Robyn Vince stepped over the ball, and Laura Tanchon
launched a shot that banged off the cross bar. Just six minutes
later, the Wolverines would find the net off another free kick.
Stephanie Boyles served a ball in front of the goal from the
right side, and sophomore Katie Kramer got her head on it to nudge
it past the Chippewas’ goalie, Kari Alexander, for her second goal
of the season.
“I was trying to dump the ball into the six-yard box,” Boyles
said. “If it’s in there, all the girls can run onto it, and Kate
got on it and knocked it in.”
After the goal, the Michigan defense stiffened. Lindsey
Cottrell, Whitney Kjar, Brenna Mulholland and Rachel Rothenbach
kept the Chippewa strikers off-balance for the majority of the
second half. On the rare occasions that Central Michigan got
through the defense, senior goalie Suzie Grech came out of the goal
to boot the ball out of danger.
On Friday, the Wolverines scored in the first half and held on
for the one-goal victory over Iowa (0-7-2, 3-10-2). Vince took a
free kick, and Therese Heaton headed the ball back toward the goal.
After a scramble, the ball landed at the feet of Stephanie Chavez,
who blasted the ball into the back of the net for her 20th career
Michigan’s last three goals have come off free kicks.
“Since we’re not scoring three or four goals a game, we need to
take advantage of free kicks,” Rademacher said. “In the women’s
game, goals come off of set pieces all the time.”
For the first time all season, the Wolverines are .500, a must
if they are going to qualify for the NCAA Tourney.