Oct. 2, 2011
Site: Lincoln, Neb. (Nebraska Soccer Field)
Score: Michigan 2, Nebraska 1
Records: U-M (8-3-2, 3-1-1 Big Ten), Nebraska (5-6-1, 2-3-0 Big Ten)
Next U-M Event: Saturday, Oct. 8 -- vs. Northwestern (U-M Soccer Stadium), 7 p.m.
LINCOLN, Neb. -- Sophomore Nkem Ezurike (Lower Sackville, Nova Scotia/Sackville) scored a goal in each half to vault the University of Michigan women's soccer team to its third straight road victory, downing new Big Ten member Nebraska, 2-1, on Sunday (Oct. 2) at the Nebraska Soccer Field.
Michigan jumped on the Huskers early, as Ezurike won a 50/50 ball at the top of the box against Nebraska goalkeeper Emma Stevens and chipped a shot into the wide-open net. Senior/junior Clare Stachel (Grand Rapids, Mich./Forest Hills Central) was credited with an assist.
The Wolverines added to their lead just 19 seconds into the second half on another Ezurike strike. After the opening whistle, Ezurike noticed Stevens way out of her net and lofted a shot in from about 35 yards out. Freshman Chloe Sosenko (South Lyon, Mich./Brighton) was credited with an assist.
Nebraska cut the lead to 2-1 in the 66th minute on a goal from forward Morgan Marlborough. The shot from Nebraska forward Stacy Bartels was deflected but found the foot of Marlborough, who poked it past Michigan senior/junior goalkeeper Haley Kopmeyer (Troy, Mich,/Lahser) to put the Cornhuskers on the board. Kopmeyer, who made six saves overall, and the Michigan defense shut the Nebraska offense down for the rest of the game to preserve the victory.
Michigan returns to the pitch on Saturday (Oct. 8), when it welcomes Northwestern to the U-M Soccer Stadium. The game will begin at 7 p.m.
Shots: U-M 13, NEB 17
Shots on Goal: U-M 8, NEB 8
Saves: U-M 6 (Haley Kopmeyer), NEB 6 (Emma Stevens)
Corner Kicks: U-M 3, NEB 4
Cards: NEB, Ari Romero, 57:00 (Yellow), Jordan Jackson, 67:37 (Yellow)
N O T E S
Michigan improves to 2-1-1 all-time against Nebraska. The last meeting between the two teams was Sept. 12, 2003 (a 1-1 tie).
The last time Michigan won back-to-back conference road games was Oct. 17 (at Indiana) and Oct. 22 (at Minnesota) last season.
Michigan has not won its first three conference road games since 2004. The Wolverines won their first four road games to start that season, blanking Minnesota (Sept. 24, 1-0), Iowa (Sept. 26, 4-0), Purdue (Oct. 8, 1-0) and Indiana (Oct. 10, 1-0).
Michigan is 4-1-2 in its last seven games.
It was the second game this season in which Ezurike has scored two goals. She also scored two against Oakland on Aug. 21.
Q U O T E S
Michigan Head Coach Greg Ryan
On the weekend road sweep ... "It's amazing for us to come away with two wins on the road against good teams. To get six points out of these two away games is a great credit to this team, especially without Meghan Toohey, who only played 14 minutes against Iowa before she got injured. The team was playing hard for Meghan, Holly and for Michigan. Winning on the road is a lot more challenging when you're missing two of your best players, so these are two phenomenal wins for us."
On Nkem Ezurike ... "It's funny. She wasn't getting her goals early in the season. They were getting blocked and whatnot. We told her not to get frustrated, that the goals were going to fall, and they did this weekend. All three of the goals were great. She's definitely found her form. Both goals out there today were great strikes. She's technically very clean in her finishing right now."
On team morale ... "They're so happy right now. They've worked so hard. When you work hard, sometimes you get the results, and sometimes you don't. The team spirit is really, really high right now."
U-M Sophomore Forward Nkem Ezurike
On her second goal ... "Well, it was right at the start of the second half. The ball came over. I can't remember if it was a clearance of a ball over top, but I noticed the goalkeeper was way off her line. I just shot it over her."
On her three goals this weekend ... "The last couple of games, I hadn't gotten many goals. The coaches told me they would come. I guess it was just my weekend. I feel awesome about it, and I just hope it continues."
On team morale following the weekend sweep ... "Everyone is so excited right now. We just have to keep the momentum going. We're going to be at home next, and we always play well at home, so we just have to keep it going."
Contact: Brad Rudner (734) 763-4423