Ann Arbor, Mich.
???C Oakland University???s women???s soccer team made history on Friday by defeating Michigan for the first time in the program???s history by a score of 1-0. Junior Shelly Piccirillo
(Niagara Falls, Ont.) scored the game winner for the Golden Grizzlies just eleven minutes into the game at the Nike Challenge in Ann Arbor. With the win, Oakland remains undefeated and puts their season record at 2-0-1.
Piccirillo received the ball from sophomore Kristi Swaving
(Albuquerque, New Mexico) who put the ball through the Wolverines??? defense outside the 18-yard box. Piccirillo then attempted to put the ball past Wolverine goalkeeper Suzie Grech however, Grech???s arms outreached the shot and deflected the ball to the right. Piccirillo kept running and got her own rebound which she then turned at a difficult angle and this time, fired the ball into the left backside of the Michigan net. Nearing the end of the first half Michigan came on strong against Oakland but couldn???t put the ball past OU goalkeeper Sarah Buckland (Burlington, Ont.).
Second half action saw the Golden Grizzlies get a few more chances with the best chance coming in the middle of the half when Swaving went one-on-one with the keeper alongside a defender. Michigan pressed hard throughout the half trying to get the equalizer and Buckland had to rely on one save by her defenders; however Michigan was unable to break down OU???s defense and tie the game.
Michigan outshot Oakland by a 21-4 margin and had nine corners to OU???s one. Buckland played all ninety minutes for the Golden Grizzlies and tallied seven saves. She has yet to be scored upon during in the 2003 season after playing three games and earning three shutouts. Buckland leads Oakland???s career all-time shutouts and saves list with 21 and 255.
Head coach Nick O???Shea was pleased with his team???s first game at the Nike Challenge.
???I???m happy for the team because we played a good team and came up with a good win??? stated O???Shea after the game. ???I???m especially happy for the senior players who???ve worked hard and were able to finally beat Michigan. Up until now, Michigan was the only team in the state who we hadn???t beat so it???s a great win for their careers.???
Oakland continues action in the Nike Challenge on Sunday when the team plays Marquette at 2:00 p.m. Marquette played No. 15 Southern California earlier on Friday to a 0-0 tie.