By Jeremy Summitt, Daily Sports Editor
Published September 2, 2013
The Chaka Daley era of Michigan soccer continues to produce positive results.
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The Michigan men’s soccer team traveled to Bowling Green on Monday in hopes of avenging last year’s 2-0 loss in Ann Arbor, but the Wolverines were forced to settle for a 1-1 draw after the Falcons found a late equalizer in the 82nd minute.
Senior midfielder Fabio Pereira netted his first goal of the season off a 25-yard strike in the 41st minute, giving Michigan the halftime advantage. A rebound from sophomore forward James Murphy trickled back to Pereira, who struck the ball into the top corner.
“We got a little bit of a rhythm there at the end of the second half, and it resulted in a great goal by Fabio,” Daley said. “It was a grind the rest of the game.”
But just as Michigan (1-0-1) crept ahead, a red card issued to redshirt junior forward Tyler Arnone neutralized its positive first half. A foul-laden prelude to Arnone’s infraction may very well have been at fault for a questionable ejection. Multiple Wolverines expressed the feeling that the head official lost control of the game early on.
Down a man for 70 minutes, the Wolverines were still able to stymie Bowling Green (1-0-1) for a majority of the match, a credit to Michigan's back line. Daley commented on senior defender Ezekiel Harris’s invaluable leadership and the growth of freshman defender Andre Morris as clear positives to take from this result.
“This is the battle these guys need to go through to create some character and some quality,” Daley said. “I think they did a very solid job in the back.”
The Falcons were unable to create many quality chances, and the late equalizer was the result of a scramble in the box that was eventually hammered home by midfielder Brandon Silva. Behind the back line, sophomore captain Adam Grinwis recorded four saves.
“It was a little unlucky by us,” Daley said. “We deserved to take the game. Bowling Green didn’t create a ton of chances and scored a bit fortunately at the end.”
Last year, a lackluster result against Bowling Green reversed the fortunes of the team that resulted in the program’s first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2010. This time around, the young Wolverines squad, led by a core group of seniors, aims to embrace the gritty effort Daley instilled in his team at the beginning of last season.
“I was talking to coach after the game, and it’s not a bad result,” Pereira said. “Especially in the beginning of the season, that’s something that builds character. In those circumstances, you’ve just got to fight. We showed that we’re a blue-collar team.”