Sept. 2, 2012
Site: Long Beach, Calif. (George Allen Field)
Score: #11 Long Beach State 2, Michigan 1
Records: U-M (4-2-0), Long Beach State (4-1-0)
Next U-M Event: Friday, Sept. 7 -- vs. Butler (U-M Soccer Stadium), 7 p.m.
LONG BEACH, Calif. -- Fifth-year senior goalkeeper Haley Kopmeyer (Troy, Mich./Lahser) made four saves to become the program's all-time leader with 323, but the University of Michigan women's soccer team had its upset bid of No. 11 Long Beach State fall short, losing, 2-1, on Sunday (Sept. 2) at George Allen Field. The Wolverines led 1-0 for most of the match but yielded two goals in the final four minutes of regulation in the defeat.
The match was scoreless until junior Shelby Chambers-Garcia (San Clemente, Calif./San Clemente) took advantage of a Long Beach State miscue in the 35th minute to give U-M a 1-0 lead. Michigan got the ball in close and the 49ers were unable to clear, allowing Chambers-Garcia a straight-on opportunity.
The match's turning point came in the 87th minute, as Michigan was whistled for a hand ball in the box, giving Long Beach State a penalty kick opportunity, which 49ers forward Nadia Link converted to even the score at 1-1. The 49ers took the lead less than two minutes later, as Kelsey Wilson scored a goal on a free kick from about 30 yards out.
The Wolverines return home for their final weekend of the non-conference slate, which begins next Friday (Sept. 7) against Butler. The match will begin at 7 p.m. at the U-M Soccer Stadium.
|Long Beach State
Scoring, Time (Assist)
1st -- U-M, Shelby Chambers-Garcia, 34:42 (Unassisted)
2nd -- LBSU, Nadia Link, 87:26 (Penalty Kick)
2nd -- LBSU, Kelsey Wilson, 89:07 (Unassisted)
Shots: U-M 10, LBSU 19
Shots on Goal: U-M 6, Long Beach State 6
Saves: U-M 4 (Haley Kopmeyer), LBSU 5 (Marinna Meyers)
Corner Kicks: U-M 0, Long Beach State 5
Cards: U-M, Team, 16:45 (Yellow); U-M, Meghan Toohey, 86:34 (Yellow); U-M, Tori McCombs, 89:08 (Yellow).
N O T E S
• Sunday's match was the first meeting between the two schools.
• Long Beach State was the third team from the Big West Conference that Michigan has played this season. The Wolverines previously faced Cal State Fullerton (W, 2-1, on Aug. 24) and Cal State Northridge (L, 1-0, on Aug. 30).
• Shelby Chambers-Garcia now has three goals on the season. She scored two goals in 2010 as a freshman and two goals in 2011 as a sophomore.
• Michigan's previous leader for career saves was Megan Tuura (2003-06) at 322.
• Christina Murillo saw her first collegiate action of the year off the bench. She recently came back from the FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup, where she started four matches for Mexico. Juniors Nkem Ezurike and Shelina Zadorsky both got their first start of the year in Sunday's match.
Q U O T E S
Michigan Head Coach Greg Ryan
On the loss to Long Beach State ... "Well, it's obviously a disappointing loss. I thought we played very well in the first half. We weathered the storm in the second half against a lot of pressure, but then I just think we got real unlucky. Shelina (Zadorsky) went to clear a ball and it went off her hand in the box. It was a complete accident. The hand was up and it just deflected off it, and the referee gave a penalty kick. The referee called another foul outside the edge of the box with 40 seconds to go, and the girl stepped up and made a great shot. She hit it to the top-right corner, and there was nothing Haley (Kopmeyer) could do about it. With two-and-a-half minutes to go, we weren't having any problems. We were defending well, and not giving away great chances. We had some players sick, some others that were jet-lagged. Sometimes the ball doesn't bounce your way and that's what happened. Long Beach State is a good team, and they capitalized."
On his message to the team after the match ... "The first thing I had to do was settle them down. They played great, and they played their hearts out, but they were emotionally depleted. They are very disappointed and upset, but I think that's a positive. These kids are very passionate. They care. They want to be successful. They were two-and-a-half minutes away from knocking off the No. 11 team in the country."
On Haley Kopmeyer ... "Haley has been a rock. It's been amazing. She continues to come up with big save after big save. They got in on us early, and some of the saves she made were simply amazing. If it weren't for her play today, we could have been in a lot of trouble. She's a completely different Haley than I've ever seen before."
On how the three players from the FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup are integrated back into the lineup ... "They are clearly three of our best, and we need them out on the field. For Christina (Murillo), she got in from Japan at 8 a.m. yesterday morning, and on such little rest, she played like a champion tonight. I didn't expect Christina to play tonight, but after seeing her out there, she looked so good. She's such a talented midfielder that I couldn't keep her off the field. Nkem (Ezurike) and Shelina were gassed, but their efforts were amazing."
On how the team moves forward ... "We've become a team with a lot of depth. We had some before, but we really have it now. And that's without Clare (Stachel) and Christina (Ordonez), two impact players for us. This team is hungry to do well and to win, so I think next week, we'll put our best foot forward. We're a different kind of soccer team than we've ever been. We can create chances even against the best of teams, like a Long Beach State. We had so many near-misses. It's going to be a fun team to watch, and it will only get better from here."
On what the younger players learned from this weekend ... "I think they learned a great lesson in how hard you have to play and how hard you have to compete at this level. Look at Meghan Toohey, who was sick as a dog tonight. She played 88 minutes and left it all out there. It's important for the young players to see how hard Meghan played, and to go out there and give that same level of effort and commitment. They are going to become stronger and stronger."
Contact: Brad Rudner (734) 763-4423