A goal in the second minute wasn’t enough for the Eastern Michigan University soccer team to beat Oakland University in a spring season match, as the Eagles dropped the match 3-2 on Saturday.
The game was a pre-season meeting between the Eagles (11-7-1 and 7-4-0 in conference play last season) and the Grizzlies (6-11-3 and 4-3-1 in conference play last season). The loss was the Eagles’ second in two weeks, moving their record to 1-2 in the spring season with one game remaining.
“We were in that game with our young talent, it could have gone either way,” Eagles coach Scott Hall said. “And with that I’m very positive for the fall.”
This year’s team did have a young roster coming into Saturday’s match. Six of its key players from last season’s Mid-American Conference West title run have graduated. But it was senior Megan Trapp that the Eagles relied on through the evening.
Trapp scored the game’s first goal in the second minute of the first half putting the Eagles in the lead, but the Grizzlies tied the game up 23 minutes later and left the score 1-1 going into halftime.
After the half Oakland added two more goals in the 17 and 30 minute marks of the second half, putting the Eagles in a hole with time winding down. Trapp started the comeback attempt by netting a goal in the 33 minute of the second half, but good goaltending and a strong defense helped the Grizzlies close out the game in Ypsilanti.
“We were playing without our regular goalie, so whenever the ball came into our half the whole team got a little tense,” Hall said. “And with the seniors we lost and the girls we have hurt, I thought we still put in a good effort and had a good game.”
The team has plenty of time to get to know each other after losing vital parts of its make up before the start of the regular season in August. As Hall put it, “We’re putting together the puzzle, and this team is going to be a tough team to beat. I’m very excited.”
The Eagles will host IPFW next Saturday. This will be the last game of the spring season.
The IPFW Mastodons went 2-14-2 (0-6-2) last season. The last time the Eagles played IPFW was in 2008 where the Eagles won 3-0.
Follow Robert Sherman on Twitter: @r__sherman