Women’s soccer falls to Michigan State


Maggie Willard

Midfielder Macey Wierenga trying to slip a defender against Michigan State on Thursday, Sept. 9, 2021.

Women’s soccer’s match against Michigan State University (MSU) ended in an unfortunate shutout loss on Thursday, Sept. 9 at the Oakland Soccer Field. 

This marks the Grizzlies fourth consecutive year losing to MSU. OU’s women played well and fought hard — their teamwork and communication was on par. Ultimately, MSU played harder and more aggressive, resulting in their two goals on OU’s women.

Grizz, The Golden Grizzlies and supporting Oakland University sports teams started off the game with a march accompanied by chants and cheers led by the Oakland University Dance Team starting at Elliot Tower and ending at the stands.

MSU started off aggressive, scoring their first goal less than four minutes into the game. While OU was able to hold them off from scoring more during the first half, MSU was able to slide their second goal in with less than two minutes remaining on the board before halftime.

This loss puts the team in a hard place with their overall record at 1-6 at this point in the normal season. The team performed 5-3-2 (win-loss-tie) in Horizon League’s preseason. They were predicted to place third in preseason, but finished sixth.

The preseason was a conference-only season — meaning they played in fewer games than they would during their normal season. Based on preseason predictions and performances, the women’s soccer team is currently down in their normal season’s performance.

Midfielder/Forward Sami Lopez and Midfielder Karabo Dhlamini had two shots on goal during the game, unfortunately without any landing. Additionally, forward Jessica Shears had one shot on goal.

In a postgame interview with Head Coach Juan Pablo Favero curated by #GrizzVision, Favero praised the MSU girls and coaching staff.  

“I don’t like what we’re going through, losing,” he said. “But, I like where we are heading — I think these games will prepare us.”

Is this a peek into what is to come in the later season?

They were able to tilt the pitch after halftime, giving MSU a bigger run for their money with fewer shots on goal. Is this what we are to expect as they face off with other schools later in the season?

Favero mentioned the team needs to hunt for the ball and get more defensive. Fans alike have vocalized the same and compared MSU’s defensive strength and ball possession as OU’s weakness.

The interviewer asked about who makes the schedule — the team is facing teams such as MSU, Green Bay, and Purdue. Favero blamed himself but reasoned.

“It was intentional,” he said “We feel our team is ready for this kind of schedule. I don’t think our record should be where it is at but we could have sat back. For us, we got a team that can play in this league. Our team has answered that call.”

The Oakland University women’s soccer team will be back on the pitch Sunday at 2 p.m. facing Kent State University at home.