By Jacob Plotnik, For the Daily
Published October 7, 2012
When redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Adam Grinwis attended Forest Hills High School in Ada, Mich., he posted 53 shutouts, a Michigan state high school record.
Now the starting keeper for Michigan coach Chaka Daley and the Michigan men’s soccer team, Grinwis has learned that clean sheets don’t come easily. He’s posted just three in two seasons at Michigan.
On Saturday, it appeared Grinwis was headed for another shutout until Penn State defender Akil Howard equalized the game, 1-1, in the 82nd minute. The goal was a result of a Penn State corner kick that found a wide-open Howard, who buried it in the back of the net.
Still, Grinwis came away with a rather astonishing performance.
Facing Notre Dame on Sept. 16, Grinwis tied his personal single-game saves record with eight. On Saturday, he shattered his previous mark with 12, carrying the Wolverines to a 1-1 tie at the U-M Soccer Stadium.
“It was a tough one,” Grinwis said. “It’s not really a good thing to have a lot of saves. It shows that they were kind of down our throat. But, we ended with a tie.”
Michigan (1-1-1 Big Ten, 3-5-1 overall) scored in just the fourth minute, when junior forward T.J. Roehn found the back of the net. After that goal, Penn State dialed up the pressure. The Nittany Lions, on the attack for the majority of the game, outshot Michigan 26-10. The Wolverines needed Grinwis to have a career game, and he did.
“They got at us quite a bit,” Michigan coach Chaka Daley said. “(Grinwis) made some good saves when needed, and he made some saves when we weren’t playing well defensively.”
Penn State’s pressure was especially felt in the 39th minute, when Grinwis was called upon to make his most spectacular save of the evening.
A Michigan foul led to a free kick right outside the Wolverines’ box. After Penn State took the kick, the ball found its way to Nittany Lion forward Kelton Cheney, who fired it skittering acorss the ground toward the open half of the net. Grinwis dove across the turf and made a sprawling, one-handed save to keep Michigan ahead, 1-0.
In the first overtime, Grinwis outdid himself once again. In the 99th minute, the netminder found himself face to face with an attacking Nittany Lion.
“It was crazy,” Grinwis said. “I think we got a little bit confused on our marking. But a guy was open, I was lucky enough to make the first save.”
After Grinwis’ initial block, the ball rebounded to another Penn State player, who aimed a shot at an empty net. Luckily for Grinwis and the Wolverines, sophomore midfielder Tyler Arnone arrived to head the ball away.
“Tyler Arnone came in and saved the day,” Grinwis said. “I give all the credit to him on that one.”
In the second overtime, Grinwis only needed to make one more save, and Michigan held on for a 1-1 tie. Though the Wolverines were on the defensive for most of the night, Grinwis’ career night preserved the tie.
“Having a good day for a goalkeeper isn’t always a good thing,” Daley said. “From that standpoint, that means that we’re not doing something right.
“I’d rather him make two spectacular saves and we win 1-0.”