Eagles drop heartbreaker to Michigan in overtime, 2-1

The Eastern Michigan University women’s soccer team dropped their second consecutive game in heartbreaking fashion to the No. 14 University of Michigan Wolverines, 2-1 in overtime at U-M Soccer Stadium in Ann Arbor on senior midfielder Meghan Toohey’s golden goal with 26 seconds left in the first overtime.

“The keeper [Megan McCabe] got caught thinking someone was going to head it and slid into the backside,” Hall said. “We didn’t get pressure on the ball quite quickly and she [Toohey] was able to get it in [the net]. Credit to Michigan for hanging in the whole time and it was a tough one, but a fun game to watch.”

Sophomore goalkeeper Megan McCabe was sensational for EMU (1-2-0) as she had eight saves, while U-M freshman goalkeeper Taylor Bucklin tallied five.

The Wolverines outshot the Eagles, 23-17, along with corner kicks, 11-5. But EMU remained composed as they only committed five fouls to the Wolverines, 18.

Five minutes into the game, senior forward Nkem Ezurike sent a shot at McCabe and successfully kept it from going into the net.

McCabe continued her stellar play with a clutch save in the 32nd minute on midfielder Nicky Waldeck’s shot as she extended her body across the field to keep the game scoreless.

But one minute after the stop by McCabe, senior forward Shelby Chambers-Garcia found freshman forward Madisson Lewis point blank in the box, nailed the ball into the net to give the Wolverines a 1-0 lead going into halftime.

EMU was outshot by U-M eight to five in the first half and picked up the pace in the second half.

The Wolverines were caught off guard and it began to show as they were picking up fouls and looked frustrated in the early stages.

Eagles sophomore defender/midfielder Jennifer Bentley left the game in the 63rd minute because of an inadvertent elbow to her eye and did not return.

In the 64th minute, McCabe made a remarkable save on the header from redshirt senior defender Holly Hein to keep the Eagles within a goal.

The Eagles struck with 8:30 left in the second half as junior forward Bianca Rossi scored her first goal of the season unassisted to even the game at one.

Moments after Rossi’s goal, the EMU fans who made the short trip from Ypsilanti, started chanting, “E-M-U” and got louder as regulation was winding down as if the game was being at Scicluna Field.

With 23 seconds left, the Wolverines had one last chance to win it, but the shot went wide of the net and the Eagles were back in a familiar position from the Ohio State game on Sunday—overtime.

Halfway through the first overtime, McCabe made a lunging save on an attempted shot from senior midfielder Tori McCombs to keep the game even.

It appeared as if the game was heading towards a second overtime until Toohey nailed the game winner after the shot went over the head of McCabe giving the Wolverines a hard-fought overtime win over the Eagles, 2-1.

“I can’t remember how the shot started, but I just had [the] faith [to] hit the ball as hard as I could and it went in,” Toohey said.

Game Notes:
According to Hall, Bentley might require several stitches to her eye, but is not expected to miss any time.

Sophomore goalkeeper Jenna O’Dell, who has not seen action this season due to a hip injury, has no timetable in sight for a return, according to Hall.

Looking Ahead:
The Eagles continue their four-game road trip on Sept. 6, when they take on the Indiana University Hoosiers for a 6 p.m. start.

Two days later, stay in the state of Indiana to take on the Butler University Bulldogs, who they defeated 1-0 last season.

Game time is scheduled for 1 p.m.

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Follow Eugene Evans on Twitter @EasternEchoGeno.

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