Second Half Goals Fuel Huskies In Win Over Cardinals
UNIVERSITY CENTER, Mich. – The Michigan Tech soccer team spoiled Senior Day for Saginaw Valley State, scoring two unanswered goals in the second half to win 2-1 on Sunday afternoon at Braddock Field in University Center.
The Huskies are elevated to 7-7-3 overall with a GLIAC ledger of 5-5-3 while the Cardinals move to 9-5-3 overall and 7-4-2 in the loop.
"Hats off to Saginaw they have a lot of good players, for us to group and have the urgency in the second half and battle back into the match when the easy option is to give up, it shows a lot of character and a lot of heart to refuse to go down without a fight and i'm super proud of them" head coach Bulut Ozturk said.
"We've kind of had a next woman up mentality and I thought Emilie Clayton and Grace Hoeppner stepped up. Gracie had some big saves down the stretch with the help of the backline and I'm incredibly happy with the collective effort today."
In a game that was a tale of two halves, the Huskies were put on their heels to start the contest, with the Cardinals placing three shots on goal in just over five minutes of play.
Two shots later, the SVSU would find the back of the net off a corner kick by Gabby Green in the 11th minute.
The Huskies placed their first shot on goal in the 20th minute, with a low shot from the left side of the net by Julia Pietila reaching the Cardinals goalkeeper.
Senior Stephanie Yeager lined up for a free kick about 19 yards from the net in the 26th minute, but her shot went wide, going over the goal.
The game turned into a back-and-forth affair for the remainder of the first half, with Jordan Noble placing a shot wide of the net, while SVSU placed two more shots on goal to conclude the half.
The momentum seemingly shifted in the second half with the opening minutes being all Michigan Tech.
Following multiple shots, the Huskies broke through in the 56th minute. Following a shot from Yeager just outside the box knocked off the left post, Pietila capitalized on a failed clearing attempt by the Cardinals, collecting the ball before placing it in the center of the net to tie the game at 1-1.
The offensive opportunities continued with Noble placing a shot on goal in the 62nd minute and firing another shot in the 65th minute.
Minutes later, the Huskies would get the go-ahead goal with Grace Hoeppner taking a corner kick from the left side of the net, placing the ball in position for Emilie Clayton to head the ball through traffic and reach the back of the goal.
The efforts marked Hoeppner's first assist of her career and Clayton's first goal of her career.
Huskies goalkeeper Gracie VanLangevelde came up big in the final 16 minutes, facing six shots down the stretch. Arguably the biggest save came in the 74th minute, where the Spring Lake, Michigan, native made a diving save to preserve the lead.
The Cardinals were desperate in the final minutes, firing two shots in the final two minutes, only to be met by VanLangevelde to shut the door on the equalizer attempt.
The Huskies were outshot 15-12 with a margin of 10-5 in shots on goal, while the Black & Gold held a 8-2 advantage in corners.
Pietila led the team with two shots on goal, while VanLangevelde made nine saves between the posts.
The Huskies conclude regular season play, hosting Northern Michigan next Friday (Oct. 28) for Senior Day slated for a 5 p.m. start time.