Michigan's Nkem Ezurike scored with 27 seconds remaining in the second overtime period to hand the Minnesota women's soccer team a 1-0 double overtime loss on Friday night. The game marks the third-straight loss for Minnesota, giving Minnesota its longest streak without a win since 2007.
"We just ran into a little bit of bad luck tonight. Our kids were playing hard, playing to win, and we just hit some bad luck," Minnesota head coach Mikki Denney Wright said. "The effort was there. I was pleased with how we played tonight, but now we just need to regroup for Michigan State on Sunday."
Minnesota (10-5-2 overall, 2-4-1 Big Ten) had the best opportunity of regulation early in the game when senior midfielder Shari Eckstrom's strike bounced off the crossbar and down into the six-yard box without crossing the goal line just under nine minutes into the contest. The Gophers would outshoot the Wolverines 12-1 in the first half and 21-9 overall, but Michigan (8-2-4, 3-1-2) tipped the scales in the overtime period - outshooting Minnesota 4-1 including the only shot in the final overtime period.
Ezurike's lucky strike, her eighth goal of the season, broke a scoreless tie that lasted 109:33. The goal came off a Minnesota goal kick that ended up in the control of Ezurike after touches by Eunnie Kim and Meghan Toohey, who each earned assists on the goal. The freshman forward then sent her shot high towards the far post and out of the reach of sophomore goalkeeper Cat Parkhill. Parkhill finished the game with one save. Wolverines goalkeeper Haley Kopmeyer made seven saves in the winning effort to pick up her fourth shutout of the season.
Notes: Eckstrom led Minnesota with six shots in the game while junior forward Tamara Strahota tallied five. Ezurike paced the Wolverines with three shots. Minnesota held a 9-7 advantage on corner kicks while Michigan outfouled the Gophers 15-13 in the game.
Minnesota returns to action this Sunday in the home finale against Michigan State at 12 p.m. CST. The Big Ten Network will broadcast the game live.