Women’s soccer falls to Notre Dame

Devin Boatwright, Staff Reporter

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On a chilly Sunday afternoon, the Golden Grizzlies faced off against the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame in their second-to-last non-conference game of the season. After a tough 90 minutes of play, Oakland was unable to break the Irish’s defense, and lost 1-0.

After the national anthem played and the teams were announced, the game kicked off at 4 p.m. on Childhood Cancer Awareness day in front of a crowd of about 600 people. Notre Dame had control for the better of the first half. However, Jaimie Leas, goalkeeper for the Golden Grizzlies, played amazing defense under center. She had a career high six saves by the end of the game, five of which came within the first half.

In the 31st minute of the first half, after an elongated amount of pressure from Notre Dame, Sammi Fisher of the Fighting Irish sent a cross into the box which deflected and was then scored by Eva Hurm. This was the only goal scored throughout the game.

The second half held a shift in energy and pressure from the Golden Grizzlies. The team played with more energy and speed than in the first half. Despite the increased energy and effort, the Irish were able to keep Oakland in check, and didn’t allow a single goal or shot attempt from the Golden Grizzlies. 

Saves were the only major statistic that the Golden Grizzlies recorded, as the 6-0 Irish were able to play clean, and commit no offside penalties and allow zero corner kicks. It was a clean match all around, with only one yellow card going to Oakland’s Nikki May.

At the end of the game, the Irish left Oakland University with a 1-0 victory. Coach Juan Pablo Favero was very proud of the team and was happy with the effort from his team, which led to a tightly fought match.

“Although we don’t do moral victories, we are proud of the effort the team put forth overall,” Favero said. “Our girls competed this whole game. I think we did a lot of things that frustrated them and made them change their game plan. So, I’m very proud of our team and there are more positive things to build on from this game than there are negatives. We have a tough schedule coming up, having to face Western Michigan and Michigan State, that will present different challenges, but this game was great and something we will build off of going forward.” 

This loss moved the Golden Grizzlies record to 2-2-1, and marked their second loss in a row, as they lost to Toledo three days prior.

The Golden Grizzlies will be traveling to Kalamazoo to face off against in-state rival Western Michigan University on Thursday, Sept. 12 at 4 p.m. This game will be a short road trip, as the team will return to the Oakland soccer field for a two game home stint, with a game against the Michigan State Spartans on Sept. 15 and then the conference opener against the Youngstown State University Penguins on Sept. 20.