...says Denzel Valentine of Big Ten Tourney favorite MSU, which is 5-7 in its last 12 games. Cumong, man.
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Senior Nkem Ezurike (Lower Sackville, Nova Scotia/Sackville) of the No. 11-ranked University of Michigan women's soccer team became the program's career leader in points and was one of three goal-scorers, helping the Wolverines reach the NCAA Sweet 16 for the second straight season in a 3-0 victory over Illinois State in the second round on Friday (Nov. 22) at U-M Soccer Stadium.
Freshman Madisson Lewis (Canton, Mich./Plymouth) and fifth-year senior Holly Hein(Castaic, Calif./West Ranch) also scored goals, while freshman Taylor Bucklin (Greenwich, Conn./Brookfield) made three saves for her 11th shutout of the season, tying a single-season record.
Like last week, U-M started strong, getting a goal within the first three minutes of the match. Sophomore Christina Ordonez(Elmhurst, Ill./York) took the ball to the end line and crossed the ball to the far post to Lewis, who put a head on the ball to the near post, over the head of Illinois State goalkeeper Aryn Newsom and into the side netting to give U-M the 1-0 lead. The Wolverines peppered Illinois State with six shots on goal during the opening frame, leading in shots by a 13-4 margin.
Ezurike added to Michigan's lead less than five minutes into the second half, scoring an improbable goal close to the end line. She received a through ball from senior Meghan Toohey (Philadelphia, Pa./Phil-Mont Christian) and took it toward the far post. A few feet from the end line, Ezurike stopped, turned to her right towards the goal and launched a left-footed strike on a difficult angle into the upper netting to give Michigan the 2-0 lead.
Thirteen minutes later, Hein added an insurance goal off a corner kick. Senior Shelina Zadorsky (London, Ontario/St. Thomas Aquinas) took the corner on the near side and placed perfect service into the box. The ball might have gone into the net anyway, but Hein got a header on it for good measure, putting U-M up 3-0 with less than 30 minutes to play. The defense kept the pressure off Bucklin the remainder of the second half, limiting the Redbirds to shots from distance.
The Wolverines return to U-M Soccer Stadium for the third round on Sunday (Nov. 24) against Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish beat Western Michigan, 1-0, earlier in the day to advance. Sunday's match will begin at 1 p.m.
U-M is 2-12-1 all-time against Notre Dame. The two teams have not faced each other since Aug. 22, 2008, a 7-0 loss in South Bend, Ind., in what was Greg Ryan's first match as Michigan head coach. They have played three times in the NCAA Tournament, with Michigan going 1-2 in those matches. The last time they met in the NCAA Tournament was 2002 (second round), with Michigan winning, 1-0, in South Bend.
For a full recap, click here: http://www.mgoblue.com/sports/w-soccer/recaps/112213aaa.html
For tickets to U-M's next game -- Sunday, Nov. 24 -- vs. Notre Dame (U-M Soccer Stadium), 1 p.m., click here: Tickets
Title says it all. Big game for the kickers if you need something during commercial breaks of the 7pm games.
US vs. Costa Rica in San Jose, 10 pm EDT.
TV: Bein Sport
US: Howard, Beasley, Johnson, Orozco, Besler, Gonzalez, Jones,
BradleyCameron, Zusi, Dempsey, Donovan
Costa Rica: Navas, Umana, Oviedo, Gamboa, Gonzalez, Acosta, Borges, Bolanos, Tejeda, Ruiz, Campbell
Also tonight: Honduras at Mexico, Jamaica at Panama
CONCACAF Qualifying standings through 6 matches (of 10):
- USA 13 +4
- Costa Rica 11 +4
- Mexico 8 +1
- Honduras 7 -1
- Panama 6 -2
- Jamaica 2 -6
Top three teams qualify for 2014 WC, fourth place team must win a 2-leg playoff against New Zealand to get in.
Ed: Last minute lineup change. Bradley scratched with ankle sprain sufered in warmup.
In case anyone wants to discuss it, the USMNT is playing against 13th-ranked Bosnia-Herzegovina on ESPN2 right now. Bosnia leads 2-0 in the 40th minute. US still looking for their first shot on goal.
I'm not surprised this isn't a bigger story given US soccer fans are focused on the Gold Cup win and Holden's injury.
This kid (22 yrs old) is a nice player and probably would have been the starting striker for the Gold Cup. He scored a ton of goals in the Danish Superliga and 3 goals in 5 appearances at AZ Alkmaar last season. Link
The USMNT is in the CONCACAF Gold Cup semis, playing Honduras in Cowboys Stadium.
TV: Fox Soccer, 7PM EDT
Panama vs Mexico in the other semi at 10 PM.