Michigan beats Ohio State 2-0 for program-best eighth win in a row
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Eighth-ranked Michigan sent its seven-member senior class out with a victory on senior night, as seniors Shelby Chambers-Garcia and Nkem Ezurike scored second half goals to defeat rival Ohio State 2-0 on Saturday night at U-M Soccer Stadium. Freshman goalkeeper Taylor Bucklin made seven saves in net for her ninth shutout of the season.
The win is Michigan's eighth in a row, a program record for longest win streak. It is also the Wolverines' first win against Ohio State since 2008, giving this senior class its first win versus their arch rivals.
Ohio State led in shots 9-7, including four shots on goal in the first half, but all were from distance and easily saved by Bucklin. The best chance for Michigan was in the 42nd minute, when Christina Ordonez sent in a cross from the far side that Ohio State goalkeeper Jillian McVicker punched out. As Ezurike was going for the loose ball, McVicker chased her, leaving the net open. Ezurike slotted the ball to senior Meghan Toohey, who fired a quick shot that was blocked.
The Wolverines then broke through in the 60th minute. Ezurike slipped a ball through the defense to freshman Madisson Lewis, who raced down the field toward the net. She put too much on the last touch before reaching the net but kept the ball in on the end line. Instead of shooting on a bad angle, she slotted a pass to Chambers-Garcia at the center of the six-yard box, where she rifled a shot past McVicker for a 1-0 lead.
In the 70th minute, the Buckeyes' Megan Fuller sent a service into the box off a corner kick, finding Marisa Wolf on the back post, but her header was pushed right to Bucklin, who made the save.
Less than two minutes after that, Michigan scored on a counterattack to open up a two-goal lead. With the ball in her half, senior Shelina Zadorsky booted a ball halfway down the field to Ezurike, who finished a run to get in behind the defense. With a defender close for 20-plus yards, Ezurike ran with the ball all the way to the net, finishing the scoring chance with a right-footed strike. The Buckeyes pushed players up in the match's final minutes, but the Wolverines countered and shut down every attack on defense to secure the 2-0 shutout.
UM begins the postseason next Wednesday at the Big Ten Tournament in Champaign, Ill.