Oct. 31, 2012
Site: Bloomington, Ind. (Armstrong Stadium)
Event: Big Ten Tournament (Quarterfinals)
Score: Michigan 2, Wisconsin 0
Records: U-M (14-4-2), Wisconsin (12-7-1)
Next U-M Event: Friday, Nov. 2 -- vs. #21 Ohio State at Big Ten Tournament Semifinals (Bloomington, Ind.), 12:30 p.m.
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Senior/junior Holly Hein (Castaic, Calif./West Ranch) and junior Nkem Ezurike (Lower Sackville, Nova Scotia/Sackville) scored second-half goals, and fifth-year senior Haley Kopmeyer (Troy, Mich./Lahser) made four saves for her 10th shutout of the season in leading the third-seeded University of Michigan women's soccer team to a 2-0 victory over sixth seed Wisconsin in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten Tournament on Wednesday (Oct. 31) at Armstrong Stadium.
Junior Kayla Mannino (Bloomfield Hills, Mich./Avondale) started the offense that led to Hein's game-winning goal. In the 55th minute, her shot from distance was on target, forcing Wisconsin goalkeeper Lauren Gunderson to leave her feet to make the save and drawing a corner kick. Junior Shelby Chambers-Garcia (San Clemente, Calif./San Clemente) took the kick and connected with an unmarked Hein on the far post. Hein's initial header hit a Wisconsin defender, but it rebounded right back to her, and her second effort was good enough to find the back of the net.
The first half was a defensive struggle, with U-M notching only three shots to Wisconsin's five. The Badgers' best chance came in the 13th minute, when Paige Adams intercepted a pass and put a shot on goal that was easily saved by Kopmeyer. Less than a minute later, it was Michigan on the attack. Sophomore Christina Murillo (Ojai, Calif./Nordhoff) took a free kick from 30 yards out into the box, but it was misplayed by Gunderson after she absorbed contact inside the penalty area. The ball slipped out to Ezurike, but her low shot through traffic went just wide of the net.
Michigan came out of the locker room in second half with a flurry of offensive chances. Two chances came in the 54th minute, the first created by fifth-year senior Clare Stachel (Grand Rapids, Mich./Forest Hills Central), who dribbled through the heart of the Wisconsin defense and fired a shot that was saved by Gunderson. Freshman Corinne Harris (Chicago, Ill./Walter Payton College Prep) followed that effort 20 seconds later with a shot off the post leading up to Hein's goal.
The Wolverines added an insurance goal in the 75th minute on a goal from Ezurike. Junior Meghan Toohey (Philadelphia, Pa./Phil-Mont Christian) placed a long through ball to a streaking Ezurike, who got in behind the Wisconsin defense. Ezurike's run drew Gunderson out of the box, and her ensuing shot slipped past Gunderson and into the back of the net, giving Michigan a 2-0 advantage with 15 minutes to play. Wisconsin nearly answered, but the Badgers' Monica Lam-Feist was denied by a diving Kopmeyer.
Wisconsin outshot Michigan, 12-11, but the Wolverines held the edge in shots on goal, 6-4.
With the win, the Wolverines move on to the semifinals to play No. 21 Ohio State. The match will be played Friday (Nov. 2) at 12:30 p.m. and shown live on the Big Ten Network. The Buckeyes won the regular-season meeting between the two schools, 3-1, on Oct. 18 in Columbus, Ohio.
Scoring, Time (Assist)
2nd -- U-M, Holly Hein, 55:30 (unassisted)
2nd -- U-M, Nkem Ezurike, 74:54 (Meghan Toohey)
Shots: U-M 11, Wisconsin 12
Shots on Goal: U-M 6, Wisconsin 4
Saves: U-M 4 (Haley Kopmeyer), Wisconsin 4 (Lauren Gunderson)
Corner Kicks: U-M 8, Wisconsin 3
Cards: Wisconsin, Monica Lam-Feist, 43:24 (Yellow)
N O T E S
U-M improves to 10-12-4 all-time against Wisconsin and 4-3 all-time against the Badgers in Big Ten Tournament play. The Wolverines won both meetings this season, also beating Wisconsin on Sept. 23 in Madison, Wis.
Wednesday's match marked Michigan's first Big Ten Tournament appearance since 2005, which also marked the Wolverines' last appearance in the semifinals.
It was Haley Kopmeyer's 10th individual shutout this season and 26th for her career, making her the program leader. It was also the team's 12th shutout of the season, tying the school record for most shutouts in a single season.
The goal was Holly Hein's first since scoring a penalty kick in the season opener against Fordham (Aug. 17).
With the goal, Nkem Ezurike is now in sole possession of fourth place on the school's all-time list for career goals (32). She is also tied with former Wolverine Melissa Dobbyn (2004-07) for sixth in career points (72).
Contact: Brad Rudner (734) 763-4423