Late game heroics: Huskies soccer salvages draw with late goal against Bulldogs
HOUGHTON — Despite trailing most of the afternoon, the Michigan Tech Huskies soccer team found a way to finally break through 21 minutes into the second half to draw even with the visiting Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs Saturday afternoon at Kearly Stadium in Houghton.
The Huskies surrendered a goal to the Bulldogs just 1:43 into the contest when Jacqueline Jares scored on a penalty kick. After that, the Huskies found a way to wrestle control of the ball away from Minnesota-Duluth for most of the remainder of the contest, allowing just one more shot on goal on the afternoon about three minutes later.
On the other end of the field, the Huskies swarmed around Bulldogs goalkeeper Jennifer Norris multiple times, and could not find the net until freshman forward Brooke Green grabbed a hold of a rebound off a corner kick and she beat Norris to her right with a quick strike.
The freshman, playing in her second game, did not believe at first that she had her first career tally.
“It felt amazing,” she said. “I actually couldn’t believe it when I saw it go in the goal.”
Green said that she felt that all her teammates were trying to will the ball into the net when she kicked it.
“I have to give it to my team for being there on the corner kick,” she said. “I could hear them all cheering me on throughout the entire game. (I want to thank) my coach, too, for putting me in, and for believing in me. It felt great, (the) best feeling in the world.”
Huskies coach Bulut Ozturk was very proud of his team for finding a way to battle back from the tough start and then to finally find a way to even things in the second half.
“We woke up in the second half, not giving up a shot in the second half, having a total of 10 corner kicks, having a total of 12 shots in the match, I’m very happy with the way we responded, and the way we played and adjusted to the game, to the match, to our opponent in the second half,” he said.
“For our players to show that kind of grit, and deal with a little bit of a setback, and adversity, giving up that early goal and then really being able to turn it on in the second half, was just amazing to see. (I am) so proud of my team.”
Ozturk wants his team to attack in waves, and unlike Thursday, when they struggled to mount an attack, Saturday, the Huskies (0-1-1 overall) did a much better job of getting multiple attackers up the field in a hurry, and that allowed them to hem the Bulldogs (0-1-1 overall) near their goal for long stretches of time.
With as much as the Huskies put in on offense, being able to utilize subs became important for Ozturk and his staff.
Green’s afternoon was a perfect example of that.
“She showed that right throughout the entire match when she got in the second half there, especially just the way she’s running through a ball, the way she’s anticipating a ball, and having pretty much no fear,” he said. “We knew that she could be on the end of something, because she’s a scrappy player. She just ran through it and pounded her way and made that play happen. It’s great to see, because sometimes there’s a little bit of hesitation, especially from a younger player, but not in the case of Green, not today.”
Green agreed with her coach about how much better the Huskies executed on Saturday.
“I feel like, from Thursday, we felt like, and looked like, a whole new team,” she said. “We’re just going to keep pushing and going from here.
“We have so much potential. We’re working really hard in practices, and we worked really hard throughout preseason. I can’t wait to see how far we make it, because I have a lot of confidence in this team and in all my teammates.”
The Huskies are on the road this weekend, facing Illinois-Springfield and Lewis, respectively. The Huskies will play UIS at 5 p.m. Friday afternoon, and then face the Flyers at 1 p.m. Sunday.
UMD 1 0 – 1
MTU 0 1 – 1
1, UMD, Jacqueline Jares, 1:43 (penalty kick)
2, MTU, Brooke Green, 66:08.
Saves – Norris, UMD: 4-3=7; VanLangevelde, MTU: 1-0=1