NCAA, Soccer, Sports

Women’s soccer falls 6-2 to Michigan despite early lead

Junior forward Abigail McNulty during a match against Colgate University on Sept. 22, 2021. The Terriers were defeated by Michigan on Aug. 28. COURTESY OF MATT WOOLVERTON/BU ATHLETICS.

After opening the game with a 1-0 lead, the Boston University women’s soccer team allowed six goals and lost to the University of Michigan 6-2 on Sunday.

BU (2-2) was coming off strong wins over Providence College and the University of Massachusetts Lowell before facing the Wolverines (3-1) on Sunday afternoon at Nickerson Field.

This season, Michigan defeated Boston College on Aug. 25 earlier on its road trip out to Boston.

“That’s a very good soccer team that we just faced,” BU head coach Casey Brown said postgame. “When they had their moments, their special players left nothing unturned. They exploited us in some moments.”

The Terriers got on the board early in the contest. In the second minute, junior forward Abigail McNulty passed the ball over to sophomore forward Morgan Fagan, who buried a goal to give BU an early 1-0 lead.

“A lot of credit to BU to come out and get that early goal in the first two minutes,” Michigan head coach Jennifer Klein said. “It was a wake-up call for us … we got to come out with some energy.”

Less than one minute later, the Wolverines responded with a goal by senior forward Danielle Wolfe.

With just over 35 minutes to play in the first half, BU was able to defend multiple shots from Michigan’s junior forward Sammi Woods. However, two minutes later, a light touch from Michigan graduate student midfielder Meredith Haakenson to junior midfielder Kacey Lawrence put the Wolverines on top with a 2-1 lead.

Michigan’s senior forward Lily Farkas entered the zone and blasted a shot past BU’s sophomore goalkeeper Cecilia Braun to give the visitors a 3-1 lead.

“[Farkas’] consistency is what’s really allowing for her to be very impactful,” Klein said. “Her movement and then her willingness to shoot. I think she’s a player that’s got a really great shot for us and she’s putting herself into some good places, so she just has to let it swing.”

With about 11 minutes to play in the half, Michigan senior forward Claire Dawson kept the ball from crossing the end line and made a pass over for a header from Woods which landed in the back of the net. The 4-1 lead for the Maize and Blue would remain heading into halftime.

Senior goalkeeper Gretchen Bennett replaced Braun for BU at the beginning of the second half. Michigan also made a change behind the net at the beginning of the new half. Senior goalkeeper Katherine McElroy, a Brookline native, made her first appearance of her career.

“[McElroy] is from Boston,” Klein said. “To bring her home is a great opportunity to play in front of your home crowd.”

Within the first five minutes of the second half, the Wolverines’ Haakenson had a one-on-one opportunity with Bennett, but she shot wide of the net. On the next possession, Farkas also missed wide. Then, Lawrence connected with Haakenson, giving Michigan a 5-1 lead.

Just four minutes later, with about 35 minutes to play in the game, Farkas passed over to Woods who blasted a shot into the top of the goal.

With under 11 minutes to play, McNulty booted a shot above McElroy to cut the Michigan lead to 6-2, which would hold for the remainder of the game.

“We fought for 90 minutes. Being able to come out when you’re obviously chasing a game like that, to show the fight and the pride to finish it out, to find a way to put the ball in the back of the net,” Brown said. “I’m proud of all those things.”

Next, the Terriers will face Yale University on Thursday at 7 p.m. in New Haven, Connecticut.

“Turn the corner and move on from this,” Brown said. “We’re doing things really well. The team knows that, we trust our process… We’re staying on course.”

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