Nov. 20, 2013
Every week 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. This week, Ezurike recaps the last several weeks for the team, which included the Big Ten Tournament, NCAA Selection Monday and the first-round win over Milwaukee.
Hello Wolverine fans!
It's been awhile since the last Yellow Armband and what an eventful few weeks they have been! So let me catch you up.
The last time we left you, we were preparing for our last home game against our big rivals Ohio State and I am happy to report that we won that match 2-0 on Senior Day. Getting three points from that match placed us second in the Big Ten behind Nebraska and marked the official start to the postseason! The first part of the postseason started with the Big Ten Tournament that was held in Champaign, Ill. We got matched up against Iowa for the first match. From having played them earlier in the season on the road, we knew it was going to a tough, grinding match. While making our way to Illinois, we got word of the thunderstorms that were happening in Champaign and were consequently told that the matches had to be moved to turfs fields instead of the normal grass. Despite the change in location, we still prepared for the battle that was to come the next day. The day of the game was cold and windy but that didn't stop us from giving everything we had. We put in a great effort but unfortunately were defeated 1-0, as Iowa was able to put in a quick counter-attack for the match's only goal. The team was extremely disappointed from the result, but it was important to not get down on ourselves because our 15-3-1 record from the season put us in a great chance to get into the NCAA Tournament.
After the conclusion of the Big Ten Tournament, we came back home, went to classes and got some rest. Last Monday, the team got together to watch the NCAA Selection Show to see who we were going to be matched up against. The selection provided two things that our team cannot go without: soccer and food! Our coaches provided us with a team meal in the locker room so we could all be together when they announced the brackets for the tournament. We were in the second bracket announced, picked as that region's third seed with a first-round match against Milwaukee at U-M Soccer Stadium. The team was so excited to be able to play another home game and was itching to start preparing for Milwaukee. The week seemed to go by quickly and before we knew it, it was already Saturday night. Having already played them before way back in August, we knew what to expect and began the game with our relentless attitude. The team played amazing and ending up defeating Milwaukee, 4-0.
The win over Milwaukee, as well as a loss by Marquette in the first round (who was the number two seed), allowed us to host the second and third round of the NCAA Tournament here at U-M Soccer Stadium. Our opponent is Illinois State, who beat Louisville in PKs this past weekend. We are so excited for the game and hope to see you all there because we need your support. Our fans have been great all season and have given us a big boost when we play at home. With that, we all hope to see you come to the U-M Soccer stadium this Friday at 7 p.m. to cheer us on yet again!
Forever Go Blue,