A gorgeous night at U-M Soccer Stadium last night for the 2018-19 Michigan Athletics season opener.
Michigan Women's Soccer took the field as they always do to open things. This wasn't just a regular season opener, though. It was the Michigan head coaching debut of Jennifer Klein, hired back in February to replace the fired Greg Ryan whose program was stagnating.
While Ryan emphasized defense to the point of playing for ties (program record 6 ties last season), Klein has made it clear in all of her preseason interviews that goal scoring is going to be emphasized even more than having a strong defense. After an impressive preseason that saw a 2-2 tie at #14 Notre Dame and a 6-1 home drubbing of Air Force, Michigan opened the 2018 season against Boston University.
While Michigan outshot BU early on and for the entire game, BU had the better chances. Including one that required sophomore and first time starting goalie Izzy Nino to make a point blank save.
Michigan got on the board in the 27th minute thanks to Nicki Hernandez capitalizing off of a rebound while the BU keeper was down after making the first save. Just 3 minutes later, Abby Kastroll made it 2-0 after a corner kick. The pair of goals seemed to deflate BU quickly as Michigan led in shots going into halftime 13-6.
Michigan did not play keep away in the second half up 2-0 as you would typically see under former coach Greg Ryan. The Maize & Blue kept pressuring and trying to add to their lead, not content with just 2 goals. Michigan eventually did get another one in the 83rd minute on a ball that bounced off the back of a BU player resulting in an own goal. 3-0 Michigan.
BU got one back in the 87th minute on a defensive lapse that led to a 1v1 in the box to break the shutout, making it 3-1.
Michigan ran out the clock and took the season opener over Boston University, 3-1.
Shots were nearly even by the end of the game, but most of BU's shots in the second half came during garbage time. Michigan led in corners (8-2) and shots on goal (7-3).
After a 1-0-0 start to the 2018 season, the Wolverines will be back on the pitch on Sunday at home against Western Michigan at 2pm. Tickets and concessions are $1 and there really is nothing better than going to Michigan games so get out there and get your appetizer for 2018-19 Michigan Athletics.
Photos I got-