SOUTH BEND Coach Debbie Rademacher reached a milestone last Friday night, earning her 100th career win at the Michigan in a 2-1 win over Michigan State.
But the total stayed at 100 as the Wolverines lost a hard fought game against No. 8 Notre Dame yesterday, 2-1. The loss in South Bend yesterday was an improvement for the team, considering the results it had against ranked opponents earlier in the season.
“We have played top teams earlier in the season when we weren”t really sharp,” Michigan head coach Debbie Rademacher said. “I feel like we”ve faced every condition and every type of team we could face if we went to the NCAA Tournament. We”re prepared.”
The Fighting Irish had confidence that translated into composure on the field. Notre Dame often carried the ball up the field and gave its forwards ample time to make a run up the flanks or into the middle. This style of play allowed the Fighting Irish to possess the ball for most of the game and keep composure when an error was made.
“The chemistry of our team has always allowed the girls to play together very well,” Notre Dame coach Randy Waldrum said. “We have so many young players that part of that composure has come through experience in the second half of the season. We”re starting to play together as a group and do the things we need to do as a team.”
The first goal came with 25:13 minutes left in the first half. Notre Dame sophomore Randi Scheller shot a high arching ball 30 yards away from the mouth of the goal.
Michigan goalie Bre Bennett jumped up to knock the shot away, but hit it up against the crossbar for Notre Dame”s first goal.
Ten minutes later, Michigan forward Abby Crumpton answered with a goal to tie the game. Despite the physical play from both teams in the last 15 minutes, the game was taken into overtime.
Both teams had their opportunities in overtime, but Notre Dame forward Amanda Guerten was the first to capitalize in sudden death leading her team to victory. The game-winning goal extended Guerten”s four-game scoring streak to five.
On Friday afternoon, Michigan beat in-state rival Michigan State 2-1.
Like Notre Dame yesterday, Michigan went down by a goal early in the second half. Spartan Kristi Arrington scored the first goal with 39:18 minutes left in the game. Michigan had hoped to use the wind to its advantage in the first half, but it was in the second half with the wind against them that the Wolverines finally came to life.
Michigan forward Abby Crumpton used her speed to rally her teammates and score a goal with 25:37 minutes left in the game. Freshmen Kate Morgan and Theresa Dwyer assisted on the goal.
Crumpton scored the game-winning goal with 8:41 minutes left after being assisted by Erica Kleinholz.
“I told them going into the second half it was do or die because we didn”t have the wind advantage anymore,” Rademacher said. “Sometimes the wind isn”t such an advantage when it”s so strong. We were still able come back and win the game in the second half.”