Michigan goalie Suzie Grech collected her eighth and ninth shutouts of the season this weekend, setting a new school record, but the Michigan women”s soccer team still only managed one victory.
After beating Minnesota 2-0 on Friday, No. 24 Michigan tied Oakland 0-0 yesterday in a game that could have gone either way.
After a strong defensive effort by Michigan during regulation, Oakland had its best scoring chance of the day in the first overtime period. Suzie Grech jumped to block a ball that was placed right under the crossbar. The ball then ricocheted off of the post and away from the goal.
Michigan had a brief break between the two overtime periods that head coach Debbie Rademacher used to talk about the team”s offense.
“We just said we can”t play individually and try and go one on one the whole time,” Rademacher said. “They are too good for that, we have to work as a unit and move together.”
Michigan then controlled the second overtime period, out-shooting the Grizzlies 3-0 and main taining possession most of the way. With fewer than four minutes left in the final overtime, forward Abby Crumpton sent the ball across the field to freshman Liz Dosa, who was left all alone in front of the net. But Dosa misjudged the ball and wasn”t able to get a shot off. Oakland goalie Sarah Buckland rushed over and made the save on the last good scoring opportunity for either team.
Michigan captain Carly Williamson summed up the game in one word: “frustrating.”
“It”s tough when we work so hard and then come out with a draw, especially with some of the opportunities we had right at the end,” Williamson said.
On Friday, the Wolverines got on the scoreboard when Andrea Kayal recorded her third goal of the season on a penalty kick.
Dosa made the score 2-0 at 62:51 with her first career goal by knocking in a ball that was bouncing around the box.
Grech had to earn her record-breaking shutout, as she laid out to block a second- half shot by the Golden Gophers.
“I didn”t want to get scored on because I knew this was an easy game for Minnesota to come back if they got momentum,” Grech said.
The fans were obviously impressed by the save, letting out a giant roar immediately afterward and rushing up to Grech after the game for autographs. Grech even left her teammates in awe.
“It was phenomenal,” Kayal said. “That was a sick save. I definitely thought it was going in, but she got there and I am so proud of her that was amazing.”
Grech”s solid goaltending will have to continue as Michigan heads into the crucial stretch of the season. The Wolverines solidified their position in second place in the Big Ten, but still trail the Nittany Lions by a game-and-a-half.
But Michigan has two of its final three games at home, which should help as it makes its late season drive to clinch the No. 1 seed in the upcoming Big Ten Tournament on the weekend of Nov. 8.