Coming off of a historic one-loss season, the Wolverines hosted the Valparaiso University Crusaders in their 2016 season-opener in Ann Arbor.
With 19 returning players, the Wolverines got off to a quick start; keeping a large majority of the possession in the first half and missing several close opportunities on the Valparaiso goal. Finally, after 33 minutes of patient play, it was senior midfielder and University of Michigan captain, PJ DiNardo that opened the scoreline to send the Wolverines one goal up at the half.
The second half began much like the first half, with a composed Michigan maintaining possession of the ball and dictating the pace of play. Opportunities on the Valparaiso goal were much less frequent to begin, but soon, Michigan found their stride and began hammering away at the Valparaiso defense.
Fifteen minutes into the second half, junior midfielder, Hunter Mejaly, made a run in behind the Valparaiso defense to pick up a ball played through and chipped his first goal of 2016 over the Crusader's goalkeeper. In the final 12 minutes of the match, Michigan put away two more goals, which were scored by Ty (Thompson) Gilhuly, Danny Kim, and Cina Vazir-Zader, who, just before the final whistle, curled a freekick up, over, and around a Crusader wall and into the side-netting of the Valparaiso goal.
The 5-0 win against the Crusaders improves Michigan's all-time record against Valparaiso to 5-0-0 and is new head coach Alex Lubyansky's first win at the helm of UMMCS.
Next up, the Wolverines host in-state rivals, Central Michigan University and Eastern Michigan University on Friday, September 16 and Sunday, September, 18, respectively at Mitchell Field.