With most of the Michigan men’s soccer team having spent time during the offseason with minor-league teams such as Detroit City FC or AFC Ann Arbor, the team finally all suited up at once, taking the field for Sunday’s exhibition against Butler.

The extra bonus was the Wolverines’ 3-0 victory, a promising start for an offense that, a year ago, struggled to find success on that end.

Though Michigan coach Chaka Daley didn’t see much from the team attacking-wise, he left the game pleased with all the contributions.

“Based on the personalities we have, we can kind of attack as a team,” Daley said. “With Colin McAtee, William Mellors-Blair, James Murphy and Francis Atuahene, those guys … I think it lends itself to having three up front. And certainly their quality will help relieve some pressure in games, which we haven’t had since I’ve been here. So I think that kind of stuff and the (cohesiveness) and then working together will give us a little more pressure and balance the game a little more.”

Three of the four Daley mentioned scored Sunday: Murphy began the scoring as the first half came to a close, Mellors-Blair assisted on Atuahene’s right-footed goal in the second half and Atuahene returned the favor shortly thereafter, serving a cross for a Mellors-Blair header.

Butler had ample opportunities to get back into the game, especially in the second half when the Wolverines defense lagged a bit. The Bulldogs’ offense, limited to just two shots on goal in the first half, created nine chances in the second half, highlighted by the efforts of forwards Chad Rigg and A.R. Smith, who each had opportunities, yet their shots either hit off the post or narrowly missed their mark.

“We certainly need some work on defensive things,” Daley said. “Things like personalities, some quality control issues — and (then) I think we can move in the right direction early in the season.

“To play a game this quickly against a good organized opponent is the most important thing for us. That it wouldn’t be just some kind of easy walk. In the first 20 minutes, (Butler) kind of took it to us.”

Michigan has some things to figure out before the season kicks off at Creighton, another opponent that poses no “easy walk,” either. But before then, the Wolverines look to another exhibition match at Loyola (Illinois), an opponent that plays on artificial turf just like Creighton.

“We’re off to a very challenging start with Creighton as our first game.” Daley said. “To play a top team like that will be a handful, so hopefully we have it sorted by then.”

Challenges against top teams like Creighton shouldn’t faze a team like Michigan’s, a team that had one of the toughest schedules in the nation last year. This season, the Wolverines face more of the same in terms of powerhouse opponents, and will look to come out with a few more victories this time around.

“Creighton, West Virginia, Maryland — you name them, they’re coming. Notre Dame, they’re coming,” Daley said. “But that’s why you came to Michigan. That’s why you want to play the games.”

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