The Yellow Armband: What A Week!

Oct. 18, 2012

Periodically throughout the 2012 season, tri-captains Holly Hein, Haley Kopmeyer and Clare Stachel will provide an inside look at the University of Michigan women's soccer team through this blog, The Yellow Armband. In this entry, Hein talks about the team's dramatic victory over Michigan State last Wednesday (Oct. 10), the Pink Game victory vs. Purdue (Oct. 14) and Homecoming.

Hello again everyone,

This week was a great time to be at home in Ann Arbor and brought quite a few firsts for our team. When we last left you on the blog, we were poised to take on a tough Michigan State squad that we had been unable to defeat during my Michigan tenure. My co-captain Clare Stachel predicted a battle and was right on as it was a true rivalry match.

State was able to find an edge early on, but our team has a drive like no other that I've been a part of and we rallied around each other to find a way to bring home a win for Michigan. Shelby Chamber-Garcia found a goal directly off a corner kick to put us back level with the Spartans a mere three minutes later. The remainder of regular time was hard-fought, but the game remained tied 1-1 at the end of regulation. We went into the first overtime period firing, determined to find a way to win. The difference was again a corner kick. Shelina Zadorsky put in a fantastic service that Emily Jaffe nodded in with her head.

The ensuing celebration was by far one of the top moments in my Michigan career. Nobody moved initially until we all realized that the ball had in fact gone in the net and we had FINALLY defeated Michigan State. Then it was a foot race to get to and hug Jaffe. Looking back now at the celebration, I'm not sure what is more funny, impressive and ridiculous: Jaffe's facial expression full of shock and happiness, mouth wide open; or perhaps Kayla Mannino, who managed to jump to shoulder height as she joined in the mob around Jaffe; or the fact that I actually hugged Jaffe approximately one hundred times. I don't know, but I'd love to have another celebration like that one soon.

Another first came this past Sunday as we participated in our first-ever Pink Game against Purdue. We wore armbands and pink warm-up tops that were auctioned off after the game to help raise awareness about breast cancer. For me it is awesome the team was able to show support for others affected by cancer, while playing the game that we all love. It is a good reminder that even in the midst of our season, during a game itself, we can work to help others.

The Purdue game itself was very successful as were able to connect and build up the attack from the back. Meghan Toohey scored a beautiful top shelf goal early on and Shelina and Jaffe teamed up yet again in a repeat of the Michigan State goal, as they converted on another corner kick. The celebration after was again on point and Jaffe's expression returned and was still priceless.

To add to the celebration, we also had a fantastic feast after the game! Our Sunday BBQs have always been a highlight of the Michigan soccer program as we all love food and this one did not disappoint. Thus a shout out is in order to all of our parents who help feed us and make Sunday post-games a blast.

The BBQ kicked off our fall break the right way and we were able to rest on Monday and enjoy the annual Student-Athlete Homecoming event that evening. Our team cleans up quite nicely and was there in full support of Clare and myself, as we were nominated for Homecoming court. Turns out that the court is not our place, however, and we were both happy to return to the pitch on Tuesday to begin our preparation for that school down south.

We have two huge games ahead of us this weekend and no doubt another exciting road trip that will hopefully include a few more firsts for the team and a celebration or two. Though we're away, we still really appreciate your support. Be sure to tune in tonight as our game will air live on the Big Ten Network.

Until next time,



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