It was another beautiful day in Ann Arbor and the Wolverines were set to face their toughest opponent yet in Western Michigan University as both teams looked to establish their position at the top of the MASC Central Division table.
It was a shaky and unproductive start for both teams as the first 15 minutes saw a great deal of sloppy play. However, at this point, to the credit of the Michigan players, changes in their play were executed and suddenly the Wolverines were back to playing their brand of soccer that they have done so well for the past 2 weeks; and it did not take long for results to manifest. In the 23rd minute, junior defender, Brett Wietecha, made a fantastic run all the way into the Broncos box where he made an attempt on a ball played through to him. Although he was unable to reach the ball to finish, Brett was tripped up by the Western Michigan goalkeeper and drew a penalty kick for Michigan. It was sophomore midfielder, Hunter Mejaly, who stepped up and converted on the penalty kick to put the Wolverines up 1-0 in the first half.
The second half played out much as the first half did: Michigan trying to possess the ball and break down the WMU defense as the Broncos tried to capitalize on counter-attacks. And it nearly paid off for Western Michigan in the 64th minute when a Broncos forward was taken down in the box by a Michigan defender and earned a penalty kick for WMU; but it was not to be for Western Michigan. Junior goalkeeper, Graham Keep, made a fantastic save on the penalty kick and denied the Broncos their best attempt on frame all game. Just 4 minutes later, senior forward, Reid Davison, met a ball played to him in behind the backline by Ryan McDougald and calmly curled the ball around the Broncos goalkeeper to solidify the Michigan victory at 2-0.
With the win, the Wolverines move to 3-0-0 in the regular season and hand the once first-place Broncos their first loss on the season. More incredibly, this win against a Central division favorite saw all 25 rostered players see game action, including senior goalkeeper, Drew Rickelmann, who maintained the clean-sheet for the Wolverines; truly a team effort by Michigan today!
Next up, Michigan hosts the Grand Valley State University Lakers at Mitchell Field at 12:00pm, Saturday, October 3. Be sure to come support your Wolverines in this contest and follow us on Facebook for updates, weekly promotions, and information on next week's home game giveaway.
In only their second match of the 2015 season, Michigan was on the road again in Mt. Pleasant, MI as Central Michigan University played host to the Wolverines.
Despite a dominating first half, Michigan fell to an early deficit when a CMU striker took advantage of a backline mix-up and buried a shot to give the Chippewas an early 1-0 lead. Fortunately, in the 38th minute, sophomore striker, Ty Gilhuly found the end of a cross from Austin Harms to even the sides at 1-1. Only 4 minutes later, graduate student, Christian Vazquez, found Ty Gilhuly who netted his second goal of the game with a clever chip shot over the CMU goalie, putting the Wolverines in a 2-1 lead as the half-time whistle blew.
As if never skipping a beat, the Wolverines came out in the second half and continued to impress the small crowd with an even more dominant and entertaining performance. The Wolverines found the back of the net four more times, with goals being scored by Austin Harms (55'), Lawrence Mullen (62' and 75'), and Vince Bruno (67'). Meanwhile, the Michigan backline remained strong, not allowing any significant chances on goal. In sum, the Wolverines played a brilliant brand of soccer on this day and showed great composure after giving up an early goal to convincingly win the match 6-1 and improve their MASC record to 2-0-0.
Next up, Michigan travels to South Bend, IN to face-off against the Purdue University Boilermakers (Friday, September 25; 8:00 pm; Indiana Invaders F.C. Soccer Complex) as two of the conference's top clubs battle for sole position at the top of the table. On Sunday, the Wolverines welcome in-state foe, Western Michigan University, for the 2015 home opener (Sunday, September 27; 12:00 pm; Mitchell Field).
Be sure to come out and support your Wolverines and remember that the 5 best signs at Sunday's match will receive a free men's club soccer t-shirt. For more information, visit our Facebook page or contact us.
Less than 72 hours after naming their 2015 roster, the Michigan Men's Club Soccer team made the journey to Big Rapids, MI to open their regular season against the Ferris State University Bulldogs. From the very first whistle, the Wolverines played with a fresh sense of passion and pride. Despite rough field conditions, Michigan was able to possess the ball and play their beautiful brand of soccer. This resulted in an early goal from Rory Landis who finished on a brilliant play by Austin Harms. The rest of the first half saw much of the play go Michigan's way, with no real threats ever challenging second-year goalkeeper, Graham Keep.
The second half started much like the first half. Within seven minutes of play, sophomore, Ty Gilhuly, attacked a low-driven cross from Josh Deuel to redirect the ball into the back of the Ferris State goal and put the Wolverines up 2-0. A solid performance from the Michigan backline ensured that the Bulldogs would not earn any decent attempt on the Michigan goal. Finally, in the 85th minutes, Rory Landis, once again challenged the Ferris State defenders and, whilst in the box, was pulled down by an opponent and drew a penalty kick. Junior, Jeff Woolstrum, calmly placed a wonderful penalty kick into the top-right corner of the goal to seal the Michigan victory at 3-0.
With the win, the Wolverine start off their 2015 campaign as 1-0. Remarkably, this weekend's win represents the 9th consecutive season-opener win for the Michigan Club team, a streak that extends to the last time that the Wolverines were named NIRSA National champions (2006).
Next week, the Wolverines face another opponent on the road as they travel to Mt. Pleasant to take on Central Michigan University on Sunday, September 20. Be sure to follow the team's progress here and on our Facebook page, which will also contain announcements for giveaway and game day promotions when the Wolverines compete at home.