A defensive miscue cost the University of Minnesota women’s soccer team the match against Michigan as they fall 1-0 at Elizabeth Lyle Robbie Stadium. The Golden Gophers generated opportunities late in the match, but the Wolverines clung on to their lead and escaped the Twin Cities with the victory.
To start the match, the Gophers looked to grab their prototypical early lead in the fourth minute as Taylor Uhl was given a through pass from Katie Thyken. Uhl blazed by the defenders and had a one-on-one opportunity with Michigan’s goalkeeper Haley Kopmeyer. As Uhl reached the middle of the box, she attempted to chip the keeper, but Kopmeyer flailed her body sideways to deflect the shot and keep the score knotted at nil-nil.
Michigan posed a huge threat in the 20th minute when a ball was jumbled around in the on the right side of the box, and Clare Stachel blasted a ball off the crossbar. The Maroon & Gold quickly cleared the ball and escaped danger.
The Wolverines would be sniffing the goal again in the 32nd minute as an errant back pass to Cat Parkhill was intercepted by Nkem Ezurike. As Parkhill slid out and attempt to bat the ball from Ezuirke, it deflected back towards the Gophers’ goal. The junior forward was then in a footrace with MacKenzie Misel, who got back hoping to force the ball out, but the Gopher defender fell down near the left post as she tried to poke the ball away. The Wolverine forward tapped home the go-ahead goal.
The goal would be the lone score of the first half, and the Gophers would enter the locker room down for the first time this season. Michigan also carried a 9-4 shot advantage into the half.
The two were battling back and forth for the start of the second half until the lights on the field suddenly shutoff with just over 21 minutes remaining in the match. The two teams and a crowd of 908 fans would stand around for 15 minutes before the lights turned back on and play began.
It seemed that getting the lights turned back on sparked Minnesota’s offense as they bombarded the Wolverines in the 74th minute on a corner kick.
Misel serviced the ball to the back post where Haley Helverson one-touched a ball with her right foot. The shot attempt would be deflected back to the other side of the goal, but senior Allie Phillips was waiting. Phillips would recoil her leg and rocket a ball into post, and Michigan would clear out the Gopher threat.
Phillips would get another chance in the 81st minute as junior Lauren Bauer was tackled from behind by Meghan Toohey, who was given a yellow card. The senior forward would lineup to take the free kick from 25 yards out, but her strike would just fly over the upper right corner of the goal and be the Gophers’ final opportunity.
Minnesota would fall to 5-5 on the season and 0-2 in Big Ten Conference play for the first time since 2006.
The Gophers don’t have much time to dwell on the loss as they host Michigan State on Sunday at 2 p.m., which will be live on the Big Ten Network. The Spartans are also coming off a 1-0 loss as they were defeated by No. 14 Wisconsin.