Oct. 2, 2010
Site: Evanston, Ill. (Lakeside Field)
Score: Northwestern 1, Michigan 1 (2OT)
Records: NU (5-4-3, 1-1-1 Big Ten), Michigan (5-2-3, 0-1-1 Big Ten)
Next NU Event: Friday, Oct. 8 -- vs. Penn State (Lakeside Field), 7 p.m.
EVANSTON, Ill. -
When the conditions are perfect, Lakeside Field is one of the nicest soccer venues around. When Mother Nature intervenes, that's another story. Northwestern and Michigan were forced to battle constant winds in excess of 30 miles per hour and driving rain in battling to a 1-1 draw Saturday evening.
The Wildcats had the wind to their advantage, or at least at their backs, during the opening half of play. The winds were such a factor, that the ball rarely sat still on its own during free kicks or goal kicks. While Michigan had to play into the wind, things weren't a whole lot better for Northwestern as the ball often took off like it was shot out of a rocket, making it difficult to connect with teammates.
NU was eventually able to cash in during the 31st minute as Jill Dunn was able to corral a cross from the left flank and put it past Michigan keeper Haley Kopmeyer for her second goal of the season. Julie Sierks and Kate Allen were credited with assists on the play.
The Wildcats finished the opening 45 minutes of play with a 4-2 edge in shots.
The rain fell in heavy downpours across the field throughout the majority of the second half, making playing conditions miserable.
However, it took Michigan just over 12 minutes following the intermission to get the equalizer. Freshman Nkem Ezurike got a Northwestern defender on her back and was able to turn a fire a shot in for her team-leading sixth goal of the season.
It appeared the Wolverines took the lead with 10 minutes remaining when Ezurike found the back of the net again, but she was called offsides.
Northwestern dodged a pair of bullets in the overtime sessions. Ezurike nailed the post with a shot in the first OT and the rebound came to Meghan Toohey. But Wildcat keeper Carolyn Edwards
made a tremendous save while on the ground to turn the Wolverines away.
Michigan had one more golden opportunity in the second extra period, but Clare Stachel clanged one off the post herself.
The Wolverines finished with a 14-10 edge in shots. Edwards made six saves for the Wildcats, while Kopmeyer had eight for the visitors.
Northwestern returns to action at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 8 as it hosts Penn State at Lakeside Field.