Sept. 19, 2013
Every Wednesday throughout the 2013 season, captains Nkem Ezurike, Holly Hein, Meghan Toohey and Shelina Zadorsky will give the public an inside look at the University of Michigan women's soccer team through this blog, The Yellow Armband. Holly is back for her second entry, talking about last week's results, specifically how the team is responding in wake of its first loss.
This past weekend brought a range of emotions for our team with our final two non-conference matches. Last Thursday night's match pitted us against a solid Detroit side. The game was tight through the first half but we were able to put away two expertly-finished goals in the second half to win the match. The win brought us to a record of 6-0-0 in non-conference play and marked the best ever start in Michigan women's soccer history.
Putting that win and season goal behind us, we looked forward to facing a tough Butler team on Sunday in our first road match of the season. However, the Butler match proved to be on the opposite end of the emotional spectrum for us. We conceded the first goal of the game on a counter-attack in the first half and had chance after chance in the second half yet were unable to find the back of the net. We suffered our first loss of the season as well as a disheartening end to our non-conference schedule.
The loss to Butler is more than just a number in the loss column on our record. It is a reminder that any team is able to be defeated on any given day. It is an opportunity for our team to learn that we must not take any opponent lightly, especially heading into Big Ten play. It is also ultimately a positive for us overall as we reflect on the first part of our season. We met our team goal to win at least seven of our first nine games. We are not content with the loss to Butler but we are making the best of the adversity we've faced. We're growing from it. Now we can move forward with the added experience of knowing how to deal with such struggles, similar to our loss last year at Long Beach State.
We now head into a new season with a clean slate. We are excited for Big Ten play to begin and look forward to facing an undefeated Iowa squad this Sunday.
For those of you missing our presence at home this weekend, be sure to look out for a feature on this year's Yakel Award winner coming soon. I hear some of the freshmen are posing a major challenge to last year's winner, Sydney Raguse, and her hopes of repeating as the award winner.
That is all for this installment of the Yellow Armband. Remember to cheer us on as we take the road this weekend against Iowa. That match will be on TV (Big Ten Network). We will see all of our lovely fans back at home next weekend as we take on Wisconsin and Minnesota.
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