Sept. 21, 2012
N O T E S
Michigan improves to 7-11-2 all-time against Minnesota. The road team has won the last three meetings in the series.
The Wolverines' win on Friday was its fourth consecutive shutout. Michigan earned four straight shutout wins only one prior time in program history (Sept. 23-Oct. 5, 2001).
During this current four-match winning streak, Michigan has outscored opponents by an 8-0 margin and held the edge in shots, 59-26.
Seven of Michigan's eight wins have been shutouts.
With the shutout, the Wolverines' defense has not allowed a goal in the last 360:53 (four matches).
This is Michigan's second four-match winning streak this season. The Wolverines won their first four matches to start the 2012 season.
Michigan is now 5-2-0 in matches decided by one goal this season.
Nkem Ezurike has now scored three career goals against Minnesota, one in each of the last three years. Two of those goals have been game-winning goals.
With 21:35 to play in the match, the lights at Elizabeth Lyle Robbie Stadium went out. Play was resumed after a 15-minute delay.
Q U O T E S
Michigan Head Coach Greg Ryan
On the win ... "It was huge. Minnesota is a very good team. They've been outplaying teams badly and losing. Frankly, I think they've been very unlucky. I knew how good they are. I haven't looked at the stats yet, but the real chances fell even between both teams. Haley (Kopmeyer) made a big save early, when Taylor Uhl was in behind us, then Nkem (Ezurike) got in behind them and scored. That was the difference, Haley's save and Nkem's goal. It was a Big Ten battle."
On the defense ... "The defense was once again outstanding. They kept their focus tonight, and they know what to do. The one time we didn't drop our back line on a long ball, we didn't match up with Uhl, and she broke through. Haley saved us. You can make one mistake like that in a game and lose because of it. They've been outstanding. This group can play in a way where they really limit the other team's chances."
On if the team needed to adjust its play based on what Minnesota was doing ... "Minnesota is a very good long-ball team, whereas we like to play on the floor. We actually adjusted our whole system because of what they were doing. We had watched other teams try and match up with them, and those teams got outplayed. Even though the other teams won, they were outshot and had fewer chances. We took a different approach than matching up with them. We created space around where they were, and tried to put the ball on the floor and connect. I though the whole team executed that plan very well, especially considering we never have really played it. We drew it up on a white board and said, 'Here we go,' and to their credit, our girls executed it."
On the team's goals for the weekend ... "It's interesting. I had a talk to the team before the weekend about how we've always taken it one game at a time. 'Can we get three points out of the match?' We know how hard it is to get three points at Minnesota and at Wisconsin. Before we talked about that, it was about the whole Big Ten season, how we take every game on our schedule like an opportunity to get three points. If we don't win a game, it's not the end of the world. Going into tonight's game, there were 30 points left to get, and I need to have the kids see the big picture. We can't get too high or too. Last year, we were 3-1-1 and got too high, then we let down. Tonight, we looked at it and knew what we had to do and how to play to get three points. Their effort was outstanding. A big shoutout to the players coming off the bench, too. Since I've been at Michigan, I've never had this kind of depth coming off the bench, and it helped us tremendously."
On if the 15-minute power outage changed philosophy ... "It's really hard to have a 20-minte break in the middle of the second half and come back focused. I thought our girls did a great job handing it. They were having a light warm-up the whole time once the lights came back on, went back out there and continued to play really hard. We were playing well when the lights went off. Something like that really neutralizes the game. We were doing well, dominating play, and then that gave them a chance to regroup. We were prepared, but it gave Minnesota a great opportunity to go after it, and to their credit, they made the most of it."
On what his message is to the team heading into Sunday's match at No. 14 Wisconsin ... "Same as tonight. I'm learning that this team has a lot of heart and lot of fight and a lot of desire to be successful. Wisconsin has always been a team like that. They're tough, they're hard, and they're talented. It's going to be a battle. Our defense, we rely on them and Haley. We're going to need to have another great day of team defending. I see us generating more and more chances with the players we have now, and we're going to have to continue to do that."