[Ed-Seth: This is coming a bit late; he had it posted a week ago but I had a severe hangover on Sunday.]
Michigan kicked off the 2014 soccer season to mixed results last weekend. Michigan opened up their season on Friday, August 29th with a disappointing 1-0 loss at home to FIU but bounced back on Sunday afternoon with a 3-0 win over SMU at the Michigan Soccer Complex.
|Michigan Soccer 2014 Schedule|
|Aug 29||Home||FIU (L, 0-1)|
|Aug 31||Home||SMU (W, 3-0)|
|Sep 6||@||Columbia (L, 3-0)|
|Sep 12||Home||Maryland (5pm)|
|Sep 16||Home||Bowling Green|
|Sep 28||Home||Penn State|
|Oct 1||Home||Western Michigan|
|Oct 7||Home||Notre Dame|
|Nov 2||@||Michigan State|
|Nov 5||Home||Ohio State|
|Big Ten Tourney||Nov 8, 9, 14, 16|
|NCAA Tourney||Nov 20, 23, 29, Dec 5|
|College Cup||Dec 12, 14|
FIU 1 – Michigan 0
A 67th minute goal from FIU’s Donald Tomlinson proved to be the difference on Friday afternoon as Michigan’s season opened with a loss.
Despite controlling possession and pressure toward the end of the match, Michigan was unable to find the equalizer. FIU outshot Michigan 9-8 for the match and the home team only managed one shot on target, an effort by Rylee Woods.
Highly touted freshmen Ahinga Selemani and Billy Stevens both made their college debuts and transfer William Mellors-Blair went 90 minutes in the loss. Redshirt Senior Adam Grinwis started in goal for the Wolverines and made three saves.
Michigan 3 – SMU 0
Michigan bounced back Sunday afternoon to shutout the SMU Mustangs and notch their first win of the season. Goals from Marcos Ugarte and Colin McAtee in the first half gave Michigan a 2-0 lead going into halftime. McAtee added his second goal in the 76th minute when he cut inside from the right flank and sent a low shot past SMU keeper Michael Nelson from 23 yards out. McAtee, a speedy winger, doubled his 2013 output with the brace on Sunday afternoon.
Evan Louro made his first start in his Michigan career and came up with three saves to keep a clean sheet. Louro looked confident in goal coming off his line to punch several corner and free kicks and looked fearless in challenging two breakaway chances by SMU. Louro collided with an SMU player after saving one of those breakaway chances and left him wincing in pain and clutching his arm.
The middle portion of the contest took an ugly turn in the middle of the match, which saw a total of seven yellow cards and a red card for SMU defender Jacob Speed. Selemani got behind him and would have been all alone with only the goalkeeper to beat and Speed simply dragged him down for a clear yellow card foul. It was Speed’s second yellow and SMU finished the match a man down.
Urgarte looked confident and consistent playing in midfield and was probably the best player on the field for most of the match. His distribution to McAtee, Selemani and Mellors-Blair was solid going forward and paired well with James Murphy when needed to track back and defend. McCarthy also played well in supporting the back four and was a nuisance for SMU’s midfield all match.
The defense looked solid in the back and communicated well with one another. Stevens, Lars Eckenrode, Andre Morris, Ben Manko and Nick Lewin made up the back line as Chaka Daley shuffled substitutions to cover for Ben Manko’s yellow card. Manko, Lewin and Morris can all move between positions, which will be more important as the season progresses and Daley needs flexibility with that young back line.
On the difference between Friday and Sunday.
“I think our ball pressure was a lot better than it was on Friday. I think we were disjointed and all over the field on Friday and didn’t pass when we need to. They kind of cut through us way too easily in the first game and the pressure wasn’t good and we were facing our own goal way too much as opposed to having the game in front of us.”
On True Freshman Goalkeeper Evan Louro:
“He’s good…as a young player; he’s extremely confident and brings a lot of experience. He’s not really like a true freshman; he’s more like a junior, which is great for the guys in the group because he brings a confidence about him, a maturity and can stretch the game. The two keepers we have we’re excited about and how they’ll push each other.”
On the starting starting goalie spot:
We’re continuing to evaluate the goalkeeping position. They’re both excellent goalkeepers so I think it may be subjective to the game, we might make a decision on who’s number one, we haven’t made that decision yet.
“I think he (Marcos) was disappointed with his performance last year but it was his fault. He was injured in an 8 week season, it’s difficult to get going. We’re excited about what he can offer.
On the painful save:
"It hurt a lot, I was trying not to show it and look tough, but it hurt (ED: Louro showed me the gnarly bright red bruise/welt/get that thing looked at on his arm at that point)."
On nerves ahead of his first college start:
"I don’t really get nervous, maybe before the game but not during the game. I’ve played a lot of games; I can just jump in and be comfortable."
On getting First save of the match
“It’s huge. The first shot and you get it and you’re good and get the confidence rolling…it’s a huge deal obviously. “
Michigan hosts No. 12 Maryland tomorrow at 5 p.m. in its Big Ten kickoff.
Follow @umichsoccer for live updates
Daley hopes senior midfielder TJ VanSlooten will be healthy this week. He missed the first two matches with a calf injury.
Michigan Assistant Coach Tommy McMenemy was an All-American at Columbia in 2003 and was on the coaching staff prior to joining Michigan. Columbia was 8-6-1 last season.
Michigan just announced the new men's head soccer coach, and it's Chaka Daley, former Providence coach. Like Hoke, Daley enjoys a good point:
Pretty much all of Daley's career has been at Providence College. He played at Providence from 1992-1996, had a brief pro career in the US until 1999, and coached at Providence after that ended.
Daley inherited a fairly mediocre program and has taken Providence to the NCAA tourney 5 times since 2005. This year they made it to the second round before losing to UCSB. Michigan stole him away despite Daley receiving a contract extension in August 2011.
It'll be interesting to see how Michigan's second head coach recruits with brand new facilities and a big name behind him.