U-M Starts Fast, Rolls Past No. 24 Pilots into NCAA Sweet 16
Nkem Ezurike

Nov. 16, 2012

Boxscore | Highlights | Postgame Reaction
Nkem Ezurike key to Michigan's success (ESPNW.com)

Site: State College. (Jeffrey Field)
Event: NCAA Tournament (Second Round)
Score: Michigan 3, #24 Portland 0
Records: U-M (16-5-2), UP (11-5-5)
Next U-M Event: Sunday, Nov. 18 -- vs. Penn State - NCAA Tournament Third Round (State College, Pa.), 7 p.m.

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- Junior Nkem Ezurike (Lower Sackville, Nova Scotia/Sackville) scored a goal and had two assists in leading the University of Michigan women's soccer team to the NCAA Sweet 16 with a 3-0 victory over No. 24-ranked and fourth-seeded Portland on Friday (Nov. 16) at Jeffrey Field. Fifth-year senior Clare Stachel (Grand Rapids, Mich./Forest Hills Central) and senior Emily Jaffe (Ann Arbor, Mich./Pioneer) each tallied first-half goals, while fifth-year senior Haley Kopmeyer (Troy, Mich./Lahser) made only one save in net for her 11th individual shutout of the season.

Michigan (16-5-2) took lead right out of the gate, scoring in the fourth minute. Sophomore Chloe Sosenko (South Lyon, Mich./Brighton) started the play, sending a ball from the far side of the field into edge of the six-yard box that was received by junior Meghan Toohey (Philadelphia, Pa./Phil-Mont Christian). Toohey took the ball and gave it to Ezurike, who drew two defenders that allowed Stachel to sneak in behind. Stachel's ensuing shot was slotted into the lower-right corner of the net for her second goal of the championship tournament to give the Wolverines an early 1-0 lead.

The Wolverines added another goal with just seconds left in the first half, courtesy of Jaffe. Once again, it was Ezurike getting credit for the assist, sending a cross into the box that was received by Jaffe. Her subsequent chip shot went over the head of Portland goalkeeper Erin Dees, who tried to make the save but could not corral the shot, and the ball wound up in the side netting to make the score 2-0 heading into the locker room at halftime.

Ezurike added to Michigan's lead in the 63rd minute, scoring her 15th goal of the season. Junior Tori McCombs (Londonderry, N.H./Londonderry) sent a ball into the middle of the field to Ezurike from the left flank. Ezurike took the pass, turned to her left and outraced the Portland defense towards the goal. Her breakaway run pulled Dees out of the net, and Ezurike slotted her shot into the lower left corner of the net to push the score to 3-0.

Michigan will play No. 5 Penn State in the Sweet 16 on Sunday (Nov. 18) at 7 p.m. at Jeffrey Field. The Nittany Lions are the top seed in the region. Michigan and Penn State played to 1-1 draw back on Oct. 21, also in State College.


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

Scoring, Time (Assist)
1st -- U-M, Clare Stachel, 3:23 (Nkem Ezurike, Meghan Toohey)
1st -- U-M, Emily Jaffe, 44:23 (Ezurike)
2nd -- U-M, Ezurike, 62:10 (unassisted)

Shots: U-M 8, Portland 10
Shots on Goal: U-M 5, Portland 1
Saves: U-M 1 (Haley Kopmeyer), Portland 2 (Erin Dees)
Corner Kicks: U-M 2, Portland 1
Cards: Portland, Lorielle McCluskie, 58:27 (Yellow)


• With the win, Michigan advances to the Sweet 16 for the third time in program history. The Wolverines also reached the round of 16 in 2002 and 2003.

• U-M is now 1-1 all-time vs. Portland.

• With the win, Michigan is now 11-9-1 all-time in NCAA Tournament play.

• The shutout is Michigan's 13th of the season, setting a new program record.

• The win over Portland is the Wolverines' 16th victory of the season, tied for third most in a single season in program history. Michigan went 16-7-1 in 2002. It also won 17 matches in 1999 and won a program-record 18 matches in 1997.

Nkem Ezurike recorded her second and third assists of the season.

Nkem Ezurike has now scored in seven straight matches, a new program record. She passes former Wolverines Therese Heaton (2002-05) and Abby Crumpton (1999-2002), who scored in six straight matches. Ezurike is also tied for second in program history for most goals in a season (15, with Kacy Beitel) and fourth in career points (80, with Heaton).

Sydney Raguse made her seventh start of the season, and the first since Sept. 7 vs. Butler.

Tori McCombs started her second consecutive match and 10th of the season. She played only 27 minutes before leaving the team's last match vs. Central Michigan (Nov. 10).

• Michigan's eight shots are its lowest total in a match this season.

• It is the sixth match this season in which Haley Kopmeyer has made one or zero saves in a match.

Contact: Brad Rudner (734) 763-4423

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