Michigan Suffers Defeat to Minnesota on Goal in Final Minute
Nkem Ezurike

Sept. 23, 2011

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Site: Ann Arbor, Mich. (U-M Soccer Stadium)
Score: Minnesota 3, Michigan 2
Records: U-M (6-3-1, 1-1-0 Big Ten), Minnesota (4-5-1, 1-0-1 Big Ten)
Attendance: 497
Next U-M Event: Sunday, Sept. 25 -- vs. Wisconsin (U-M Soccer Stadium), 2 p.m.

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The University of Michigan women's soccer team held a one-goal halftime lead thanks to goals from sophomore Nkem Ezurike (Lower Sackville, Nova Scotia/Sackville) and senior/junior Clare Stachel (Grand Rapids, Mich./Forest Hills Central), but Minnesota scored twice in the second half, including the winner with 58 seconds remaining, in a 3-2 final on Friday (Sept. 23) at the U-M Soccer Stadium.

Minnesota grabbed the lead early, scoring in the 13th minute off a corner kick. The Wolverines responded seven minutes later, as Ezurike scored her fourth goal of the season when she outmuscled three Golden Gopher defenders and rocketed the ball into the bottom left corner of the goal. Sophomore Tori McCombs (Londonderry, N.H./Londonderry) won the ball off Minnesota goalkeeper Cat Parkhill's goal kick, but the Minnesota defenders failed to clear the ball, falling instead straight to Ezurike's feet as she started her run through the defense.

In the 40th minute, Ezurike drew a penalty kick when she collided with Parkhill inside the box. Stachel stepped up to take the kick and buried it into the bottom left corner for her fifth goal of the season.

Minnesota pressed forward in the second half and finally broke through in the 68th minute on a goal from Taylor Uhl, which she rebounded off U-M senior/junior goalkeeper Haley Kopmeyer (Troy, Mich./Lahser). Uhl also scored in the final minute of the game, outracing the Michigan defense to a long ball and beating Kopmeyer for the go-ahead goal.

The Wolverines had one final opportunity to tie the game, but the shot by sophomore Kayla Mannino (Bloomfield Hills, Mich./Avondale) bounced off the crossbar and out, sealing the win for Minnesota.

Michigan returns to the pitch on Sunday (Sept. 25), when it takes on Wisconsin at 2 p.m. inside the U-M Soccer Stadium.


By Periods 1 2 F
Minnesota 1 2 3
Michigan 2 0 2

Scoring, Time (Assist)
1st -- Minnesota, Josie Solie, 12:57 (Lauren Bauer)
1st -- U-M, Nkem Ezurike, 20:08 (Tori McCombs)
1st -- U-M, Clare Stachel, 39:59 (Penalty Kick)
2nd -- Minnesota, Taylor Uhl, 67:34 (Olivia Bagnall)
2nd -- Minnesota, Uhl, 89:02 (Marissa Price, Nicole Baier)

Shots: U-M 9, Minnesota 22
Shots on Goal: U-M 5, Minnesota 11
Saves: U-M 8 (Haley Kopmeyer), Minnesota 3 (Cat Parkhill)
Corner Kicks: U-M 5, Minnesota 9
Cards: None.


• Michigan added a player to its roster prior to Friday's game. Emily Jaffe earned her first collegiate start, playing midfield for the Wolverines. Jaffe, an Ann Arbor native, graduated from nearby Pioneer High School and played eight games for the University of Iowa in 2009. She transferred to Michigan, spending last year playing for the school's club team.

• Michigan is 6-11-2 all-time against Minnesota and 3-4-2 in its last nine games against the Golden Gophers.

• Michigan beat Minnesota, 1-0, in double-overtime last season in Minneapolis, when Ezurike scored a goal with 27 seconds left in the contest.

Clare Stachel now has two successful penalty kick conversions this season. Her other PK goal came against UC Riverside on Sept. 4. She has scored as many goals this season (five) than she had in her first three seasons combined.

• Minnesota handed Michigan just its third loss at the U-M Soccer Stadium in the last two seasons. The Wolverines are 10-3-3 at home during that stretch.

• The last game Michigan scored more than one goal in a game was on Aug. 28 against DePaul (W, 3-0).


Michigan Head Coach Greg Ryan
On the team's mindset following the loss ... "They're disappointed. They played their hearts out, did the best they could, and still came up short. Credit Minnesota, though. They played very well in the second half. I thought we put together some good soccer in the first half, but I felt we lost our rhythm in our second half. Minnesota deserved this win."

On the defense ... "I think we had to defend too long. We were attacking well in the first half, not spending much time on defense. We gave up the first goal off a corner kick, which was poorly defended. In the second half, we were on our heels the whole half. Any time you're spending that much time defending, a team as good as Minnesota is going to punish you. We made a couple tactical mistakes that turned into goals."

On Emily Jaffe ... "First off, Emily had a great game, and she's exhausted right now. She hasn't played a Division I soccer game in probably two years. She transferred from Iowa, and she gave us a call and wanted us to take a look. We saw her train and told her that not only is she going to play, she's going to start. She had two very good shots on goal today. We're so thankful to have her."

Contact: Brad Rudner (734) 763-4423

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