Women’s soccer ties Green Bay, marks fourth consecutive draw

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Jose Juarez, Oakland University Athletics

The women’s soccer team huddles up during a game against Western Michigan.

Brock Heilig, Sports Editor

The Oakland University women’s soccer team has had an unusual start to its season. 

The first five games of the season weren’t anything out of the ordinary. Oakland allowed just two goals through its first five games and began the season with an undefeated mark of 3-0-2.

However, as the calendar flipped deeper into September, the season progressed in an extremely abnormal fashion. The Golden Grizzlies dropped their first game of the season to Wake Forest in a 1-0 affair back on Sept. 4.

Oakland then took a trip to East Lansing to take on the Michigan State Spartans. The Golden Grizzlies were looking for revenge, as the Spartans defeated the Golden Grizzlies 2-0 last season.

Although Oakland didn’t get its redemption, Michigan State didn’t claim bragging rights, either. The teams battled to a mind-numbingly-boring 0-0 draw. 

The in-state foes combined for just 20 shots, only two of which were on goal. There were a whopping two saves in the game — one which probably didn’t make any lifelong soccer fans.

The tie against the Spartans marked the third draw of the early season for the Golden Grizzlies, already tripling its total of one from a year ago. Ties didn’t stop there, however.

Later that weekend, on Sunday, Sept. 11, Oakland traveled to take on another in-state opponent in the Western Michigan Broncos. 

Through 85 minutes, it looked like Oakland was going to find itself in another scoreless draw, but the Broncos were able to net what looked to be the game winning goal in the 86th minute. Exactly one minute and 20 seconds later, the Golden Grizzlies struck with a goal from fifth-year senior Kendra Zak. 

Oakland hadn’t scored a goal in more than 270 minutes of game time, but was able to find the back of the net late in the game to tie the Broncos.

That’s four ties on the season — already the most since the 2015 season when the Golden Grizzlies finished with seven.

Oakland then began its Horizon League schedule against Youngstown State on Thursday, Sept. 15. The team rode some of its late-game momentum into the conference opener, and fifth-year senior Alexa Sabbagh put the Golden Grizzlies in front in the 30th minute with a goal.

Less than 10 minutes away from its first win in two weeks, Oakland suffered a game-tying goal in the 82nd minute, and another tie was settled upon.

In its most recent game on Sunday, Sept. 18, Oakland traveled to Green Bay to take on the Phoenix.

Much like the match against Michigan State, there isn’t much to be said about this one, because nothing happened. The two teams ran around for 90 minutes and the game ended in a 0-0 tie. 

Oakland has now tied in six of its last eight games, including four straight. 

The season is only 10 games old, and the Golden Grizzlies already have as many ties as they did in the 2019, 2020 and 2021 seasons combined. 

As far back as 1999 — which is as far back as records go — Oakland has only tied four straight games one other time in program history. It happened in the aforementioned 2015 season when the Golden Grizzlies tied Central Michigan, Michigan State, St. Bonaventure and Grand Canyon consecutively.

This year’s Oakland team is just one tie away from matching 2015’s total with eight games remaining.

Will the record-setting draw come next Sunday against Purdue Fort Wayne?