Oct. 21, 2012
Site: State College, Pa. (Jeffrey Field)
Score: #17 Michigan 1, #4 PSU 1 (2OT)
Records: U-M (13-3-2, 7-1-2 Big Ten), Penn State (15-2-1, 9-0-1)
Next U-M Event: Saturday, Oct. 27 -- vs. Illinois (U-M Soccer Stadium), 6 p.m.
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- Fifth-year senior goalkeeper Haley Kopmeyer (Troy, Mich./Lahser) made a season-high 12 saves and junior Nkem Ezurike (Lower Sackville, Nova Scotia/Sackville) scored a second-half goal, as the No. 17-ranked University of Michigan women's soccer team battled to a 1-1 draw with No. 4 Penn State on Sunday (Oct. 21).
Neither team found the back of the net in the first half, but both sides had solid scoring chances. In the eighth minute, Penn State forward Maya Hayes snuck in behind the Michigan defense off a free kick and had a one-on-one opportunity with Kopmeyer, but Hayes pushed her shot just wide of the net. The Wolverines nearly got on the board in the 35th minute, as junior Meghan Toohey (Philadelphia, Pa./Phil-Mont Christian) sent a low ball into the six-yard box to junior Shelby Chambers-Garcia (San Clemente, Calif./San Clemente), but Chambers-Garcia's touch went wide. Penn State had the lead in shots through the first 45 minutes (8-6), but U-M had more shots on goal (4-2).
Ezurike put the Wolverines on the board first in the 60th minute. Sophomore Christina Murillo (Ojai, Calif./Nordhoff) started the play, putting a free kick from about 40 yards out straight into the box. Chambers-Garcia headed it backwards to Ezurike, who chipped her shot over Penn State goalkeeper Erin McNulty and into the back of the net.
Penn State tied the score up with less than five minutes to play on a successful penalty kick by Christine Nairn. Whitney Church sent a cross kick into the box that Kopmeyer punched out. A scramble ensued, but the referee signaled for a penalty kick as a Penn State player went down inside the six-yard box. Nairn put the shot to the top-left corner past Kopmeyer to tie the match.
The best chance to break the 1-1 tie came from Penn State in the match's final seconds. Hayes collected the ball inside the six-yard box, but her low shot went wide, ending the game in a 1-1 draw.
Michigan closes out the regular season on Saturday (Oct. 27), hosting Illinois at 6 p.m. inside the U-M Soccer Stadium. It is the team's Maize Star event and Senior Day, where Michigan will honor seniors prior to the start of the match. Tickets for the match are available through the U-M Athletics Ticket Office, either by calling (734) 764-0247 or at www.mgoblue.com/tickets.
Scoring, Time (Assist)
2nd -- Nkem Ezurike, 59:31 (Christina Murillo, Shelby Chambers-Garcia)
2nd -- Christine Nairn, 85:03 (penalty kick)
Shots: U-M 9, PSU 31
Shots on Goal: U-M 6, PSU 13
Saves: U-M 12 (Haley Kopmeyer), PSU 5 (Erin McNulty)
Corner Kicks: U-M 3, PSU 12
Cards: U-M, Cassie Collins, 69:06 (Yellow).
N O T E S
With the draw, Michigan is now 4-17-5 all-time against Penn State. The draw snapped a seven-match losing streak to Penn State, dating back to 2005.
The last time the two teams played to a draw was Nov. 3, 2005, in the first match of the Big Ten Tournament (Michigan advanced on PKs).
Penn State clinched the Big Ten regular season title on Sunday with the draw. Coming into the match, Michigan was guaranteed to finish no lower than third place in the Big Ten. The Wolverines have not finished third or higher since 2004.
With the goal, Nkem Ezurike is now tied for sixth all-time in program history for career goals (30). She shares sixth place with Ruth Poulin (1994-97).
All 10 of Nkem Ezurike's goals have come against Big Ten opponents. She has also one goal shy of her career high of 11 goals, which she set last season.
Keyana Thompson-Shaw made her second start of the season against Penn State. She started the Wolverines' season-opening match vs. Fordham on Aug. 17.
Jen Pace saw her first game action since Sept. 9 at Oakland.
The 12 saves are a season high for Haley Kopmeyer. Her previous best was 10, set back vs. Fordham on Aug. 17.
Brad Rudner (734) 763-4423