- Teresa Mathew/Daily
By Dan Hartlep, For the Daily
Published October 7, 2012
After stunning Ohio State last week with a shot from midfield by freshman midfielder Jack Brown early in the second overtime, the Michigan men’s soccer team looked to keep the momentum rolling on Saturday against Penn State.
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The Wolverines raced out to an early lead, but failed to keep Penn State from scoring as the teams fought to a 1-1 draw.
The Wolverines (1-1-1 Big Ten, 3-5-1 overall) had the upper hand offensively in the early minutes of the match, scoring in the fourth minute off the head of junior forward T.J. Roehn. After a strong cross into the goal box by redshirt freshman midfielder Colin McAtee to a streaking Roehn, the ball slid underneath the left arm of the Nittany Lion goalkeeper for Roehn’s second goal of the year.
“Colin McAtee had a great game,” Roehn said. “He sent in a great low ball and I got my head on it and beat the (keeper) near post.”
From that point on, it was all Penn State.
The Nittany Lions (1-1-1, 6-3-2) threw everything they had at redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Adam Grinwis, who had a career-high 13 saves. Grinwis and the Wolverines’ back line consistently kept the Penn State out of the net with the help of the hard-nosed play of junior defender Ezekiel Harris. Harris made several key defensive stops when the Wolverines needed them most, as the Nittany Lions continued to bring pressure.
By the end of the match, Penn State had recorded 26 shots. First-year Michigan coach Chaka Daley praised the play of his keeper, but recognized that having a career day from a goalie is often times a sign of defensive turmoil.
Lineup changes stemming from injuries and suspensions have prevented the Wolverines’ defensive four from becoming familiar with each other this season. Only senior defender Brian Klemczak has appeared regularly in the back, bringing some veteran experience that Michigan needs.
“(Klemczak) did an outstanding job of giving good cover,” Daley said. “(He showed) great fight and good leadership all the way to the last minute.”
The number of scoring chances that the Wolverines allowed would come back to haunt them in the 82nd minute. The Nittany Lions found an equalizer from defender Akil Howard, who tapped in a low line drive from the right edge of the goal box.
After two overtime periods of evenly matched play and equal scoring opportunities, the two squads settled for a draw.
Looking to get the season back on track, Roehn had only positive things to say after the game.
“Getting an early goal in a game like this was crucial,” he said. “We would have liked to get the win, but we’ll take the point.”
The result ties Michigan with Penn State for third place in the Big Ten. The Wolverines next take the pitch Wednesday against undefeated Oakland University at the U-M Soccer Complex.
Daley said he knows what his team needs in order to be ready for the Grizzlies.
“From here on out, there isn’t much training,” Daley said. “It’s pretty much just about resting and getting yourself ready emotionally for the next big game.”