Sept. 30, 2011
IOWA CITY, Iowa — The University of Iowa women’s soccer team suffered its first loss of the season, dropping a 1-0 decision against Michigan on Friday night at the Iowa Soccer Complex. The Hawkeyes fall to 9-1-2 on the season and 1-1-2 in league play.
The Hawkeyes defense held fast against an aggressive Wolverine offense for the duration of the first period. Despite having five corner kick opportunities in the first 45 minutes, Michigan was unable to find the net. Late in the half, Michigan fired three consecutive shots inside the box. The Hawkeyes responded with a team save, block and a save by senior Emily Moran.
The two teams entered the half time break knotted at zero, but came out of the 15 minute rest with different mentalities. Iowa forced the Michigan defense to react quickly to several shots immediately after the break. Goalkeeper Haley Kopmeyer made stops on each of Iowa’s challenges.
In the 54th minute, Michigan’s Nkem Ezurike took aim at Iowa’s goal, but was blocked by Melanie Pickert. Ezurike rebounded her own shot and drove the ball into the top corner of the net, just over Moran’s hands. The rocket shot put Michigan on the board, giving them the 1-0 lead it needed to shutout the Hawkeyes.
“We didn’t give ourselves many attacking chances with our possession in the first half,” head coach Ron Rainey said. “Against an organized Big Ten team, to only try and create chances over 45 minutes in the second half, it’s going to be hard to score. I’m looking forward to the next two days to see how resilient we are after this long unbeaten streak and bouncing back to play Michigan State on Sunday.”
Moran made 10 stops in the loss and played all 90 minutes in goal.
The 12-game unbeaten streak and eight-game win streak are both program bests. The Hawkeyes set a school record for best start to the season after an 8-0 record, and are only one win away from equaling the most wins in a season by an Iowa team, set in 1999.
Iowa returns to action Sunday afternoon at the Iowa Soccer Complex. Rainey and the Hawkeyes look to redeem themselves as they face off with the Michigan State Spartans at 1 p.m.