Michigan blanks Portland, moves on to third round of NCAA tournament
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- Junior Nkem Ezurike scored a goal and had two assists, leading Michigan to the NCAA Round of 16 with a 3-0 victory against fourth-seeded Portland on Friday at Jeffrey Field. Senior Clare Stachel and senior Emily Jaffe each tallied first-half goals, while senior Haley Kopmeyer made only one save in net for her 11th individual shutout of the season.
Michigan (16-5-2) took the lead right out of the gate, scoring in the fourth minute. Sophomore Chloe Sosenko started the play, sending a ball from the far side of the field into the edge of the six-yard box that was received by junior Meghan Toohey.
Toohey took the ball and gave it to Ezurike, who drew two defenders, allowing Stachel to sneak in behind. Stachel's ensuing shot found the lower right corner of the net for her second goal of the championship tournament to give the Wolverines an early 1-0 lead.
The Wolverines added another goal with just seconds left in the first half, courtesy of Jaffe. Ezurike got credit for the assist, sending a cross into the box that was received by Jaffe. Her subsequent chip shot went over the head of Portland goalkeeper Erin Dees, who tried to make the save but could not corral the shot. The ball wound up in the side netting to make the score 2-0 heading into the locker room at halftime.
Ezurike added to Michigan's lead in the 63rd minute, scoring her 15th goal of the season. Junior Tori McCombs sent a ball into the middle of the field to Ezurike from the left flank. Ezurike took the pass, turned to her left and outraced the Portland defense towards the goal. Her breakaway run pulled Dees out of the net, and Ezurike slotted her shot into the lower left corner of the net to push the score to 3-0.