Oct. 6, 2013
Site: Lincoln, Neb. (Nebraska Soccer Field)
Score: #21 Michigan 2, #23 Nebraska 1
Records: U-M (9-2-1, 3-1-1 Big Ten), Nebraska (9-3-1, 4-1-0 Big Ten)
Next U-M Event: Sunday, Oct. 13 -- at Penn State (State College, Pa.), 1 p.m.
LINCOLN, Neb. -- Senior Nkem Ezurike (Lower Sackville, Nova Scotia/Sackville) and freshman Madisson Lewis (Canton, Mich./Plymouth) scored second-half goals within four minutes of each other to propel the No. 21-ranked University of Michigan women's soccer team to a 2-1 victory at Nebraska on Sunday (Oct. 6) at Nebraska Soccer Field. The Huskers had won seven consecutive matches and sat tied atop the Big Ten standings at 4-0-0.
The two teams were scoreless after the opening 45 minutes of play. Ezurike attempted to get the offense going early, putting a shot on goal in the second minute that was saved by Nebraska goalkeeper Emma Stevens with a dive to her right. The Wolverines' best chance, though, came in the 10th minute off a corner kick. The service came in from the far side, and fifth-year senior Holly Hein (Castaic, Calif./West Ranch) came free in the center of the six-yard box, but her header attempt clanged off the crossbar. In the 16th minute, Ezurike took on the defense with a run and attempted to slip the ball to Lewis at the far post, but her pass was just out of Lewis' reach.
Ezurike snapped her three-match scoreless streak with a goal in the 54th minute to put Michigan up, 1-0. Sophomore Corinne Harris (Chicago, Ill./Walter Payton College Prep) played a ball along the far side to Lewis. The speedy freshman drew defenders to her side and lured Stevens off her line then slipped a cross to a wide-open Ezurike at the far post, where she tapped the ball into an open net for the score.
Not even four minutes later, Lewis got in on the scoring to make it 2-0. The ball was loose in the box off a long throw-in after it glanced off a Nebraska defender, but Lewis found it in space and punched a shot through traffic past Stevens for the two-goal lead with 30 minutes to play.
The Cornhuskers cut the lead to 2-1 in the 75th minute on a header goal by Jordan Jackson. Nebraska's Courtney Claassen crossed the ball into the box and found Jackson on the end of a run, with her header dribbling past the outstretched arms of freshman goalkeeper Taylor Bucklin (Greenwich, Conn./Brookfield), who made three saves on the day. The Wolverines had some chances following that score to make it a two-goal lead again -- specifically a long run by Harris down the length of the field following a corner kick and an open-net chance for Ezurike as Stevens was out of the box -- but neither went in the net. Michigan's defense weathered the storm in the final 10 minutes, repelling four Nebraska shots to preserve the victory.
The Wolverines wrap up the road trip with one match next week, facing defending Big Ten champion Penn State next Sunday (Oct. 13) in State College, Pa. The match will begin at 1 p.m.
Shots: U-M 15, NEB 13
Shots on Goal: U-M 4, NEB 4
Saves: U-M 3 (Taylor Bucklin), NEB 2 (Emma Stevens)
Corner Kicks: U-M 4, NEB 3
Cards: U-M, Tori McCombs, 35:46 (Yellow); NEB, Jaylyn Odermann, 35:46 (Yellow)
Contact: Brad Rudner (734) 763-4423