Tuesday, November 30 2021

The underlying stats weren’t pretty for the Michigan women’s soccer team in Friday’s NCAA tournament second-round game against Wake Forest.

The No. 2-seeded Wolverines were outshot 15-8 — including 4-3 in shots on goal — and gave up six corner kicks while taking just one. But in the stat that counts — goals — Michigan came out on top, defeating Wake Forest, 2-0, to advance to the Round of 16.


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U-M’S FIRST-ROUND WIN: U-M blows past Bowling Green, 3-0, in NCAA tournament opener

BIG TEN CHAMPS: Michigan women wins Big Ten soccer tournament for first time since 1999

THE OTHER NCAA TOURNAMENT: Michigan field hockey goes cold, eliminated from NCAA tournament by Harvard

Michigan’s first goal came off a Wake Forest defender 14:02 into the game at U-M Soccer Stadium in Ann Arbor, and that was all the Wolverines needed, as goalie Hillary Beall stopped all four shots on goal she faced.

The Wolverines added an insurance goal a little over 20 minutes into the second half, when Demon Deacons defender Zara Chavoshi was whistled for a foul on Nicki Hernandez in the box, setting up a penalty kick.

Meredith Haakinson then sent home the kick, and Michigan had a path to the next round of the tournament; the Wolverines will host No. 3 Tennessee at 1 p.m. Sunday. The Volunteers shut out Washington State, 2-0, in the early game Friday in Ann Arbor.

Michigan goalie Hillary Beall (1) makes a save during the first half of an NCAA women's soccer game, Thursday, Sept. 30, 2021 at Folk Field in West Lafayette.Michigan goalie Hillary Beall (1) makes a save during the first half of an NCAA women's soccer game, Thursday, Sept. 30, 2021 at Folk Field in West Lafayette.
Michigan goalie Hillary Beall (1) makes a save during the first half of an NCAA women’s soccer game, Thursday, Sept. 30, 2021 at Folk Field in West Lafayette.

Haakinson was also key in setting up Michigan’s first goal. The senior midfielder from Minnesota received a pass deep in the box from midfielder Avery Kalitta and sent it across the front of the net to forward Danielle Wolfe. But a Wake Forest defender reached it first, nudging it past goalie Kaitlyn Parks.

The Wolverines are in the third round of the NCAA tournament for the fourth time in the past 10 years; most recently, they advanced to the Round of 16 in 2019, but lost to eventual national runner-up North Carolina. Michigan has advanced from the Round of 16 to the quarterfinals just twice — 2002 and 2013; both years, the Wolverines lost.

Sunday will be the Michigan women’s first-ever game against Tennessee, which won the SEC tournament this year before defeating Lipscomb, 3-0, in the first round and Washington State in the second round Friday.

Both of the Vols’ goals Friday came off the feet of freshmen: Jordan Fusco connected in the 24th minute and Taylor Huff made it 2-0 nine minutes later. Goalie Lindsey Romig stopped all six of the Cougars’ shots on goal; Tennessee has not allowed a nonconference opponent to score this season, over a stretch of nine games. Redshirt sophomore Jaida Thomas led the Volunteers this season with 13 goals and 31 points, but was held scoreless by Washington State.

Tennessee will be looking to return to the NCAA quarterfinals for the first time since 2018; the Vols have have never advanced past that round to the College Cup, soccer’s version of basketball’s Final Four.

This year’s College Cup is set for Dec. 3-5 in Santa Clara, California.

Contact Ryan Ford at rford@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @theford.

This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Michigan women’s soccer outlasts Wake Forest in NCAA tournament

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