The Yellow Armband: Back in the Big Ten
Shelina Zadorsky

Sept. 25, 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. Shelina checks in this week with her second entry, recapping last Sunday's win at Iowa and previewing more of the Big Ten season, which continues this weekend at the U-M Soccer Stadium against Wisconsin and Minnesota.

After a hard-fought victory over the Iowa Hawkeyes last weekend, we will be back at U-M Soccer Stadium on Friday (Sept. 27) at 7 p.m. to face 18th-ranked Wisconsin and again on Sunday (Sept. 29) against Minnesota at 1 p.m. We are extremely excited to play at home, so come join us this weekend!

Last Sunday was a special day for us as we traveled to Iowa to play in our first Big Ten match of the 2013 season! Nkem's amazing goal in the first half not only put us on the scoreboard, but it also brought her even closer to becoming Michigan's all-time scoring leader. Only four more goals and she'll surpass Kacy Beitel to make history. Knowing Nkem the way I do, I know she doesn't care about records. She wants to win as badly as anyone on our team. She wasn't the only goal scorer against Iowa, as Kayla scored the game-winning goal less than a minute after we conceded one. Her goal came from an angle that most would deem impossible, but she was able to hit a perfect volley into the upper netting. Beating Iowa was especially rewarding, as they had been undefeated prior to playing us.

While we're pleased with the result, we turn to this weekend and know we have a tough couple of matches ahead of us. Such is life in the Big Ten! Every match is a battle. This week in practice, we've been preparing for a very talented Wisconsin team, one that will provide us with perhaps our greatest challenge so far this season. We know that we will need a collective defensive effort in order to stop Wisconsin's dangerous attacking players. Knowing that we need to be at the top of our game on the back line, we also want to create more goal-scoring chances in the attack. While the Badgers come first, we also know that Sunday's match against Minnesota looms. If the past couple of years have shown us anything, we know that our match against the Golden Gophers will both be physical and evenly-matched, so we will have to bring all our energy to the field on Sunday to outwork them.

That being said, we have to keep our team goals in mind. In order to achieve all that we aim to achieve, we will continue to take Big Ten play one match at a time. No match will be easy, but I'm confident that we will never stop fighting for three points in each and every contest.

Thank you to our fans that followed our Iowa game on the Big Ten Network and we hope to see you out this weekend! A reminder that our men's soccer team also plays at home this weekend in their Big Ten opener against Northwestern at 7 p.m. on Saturday (Sept. 28), so be sure to cheer them on, too.

Should be a great weekend of soccer here in Ann Arbor. Hope to see you at the field!

As always ... GO BLUE!


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