BY SHANNON LYNCH
For the Daily
Published October 14, 2012
The Michigan men’s soccer team, undefeated in its last three games, had high hopes of coming out on top in a visit to Madison to face Wisconsin on Saturday night. But, in the end, the Wolverines were unable to make a dent in their winless road record.
A late Wisconsin goal sunk Michigan, 2-1, and pushed the team’s record to 1-2-1 in Big Ten play.
The game started off at an easy pace with back-and-forth possession. The Badgers took the early 1-0 lead with a goal by junior forward Chris Prince in the seventh minute of play.
The Wolverines responded by mounting an offensive attack.
Michigan assistant coach Tommy McMenemy, standing in for injured head coach Chaka Daley, said the Wolverine were unfazed by Wisconsin’s initial goal and reacted in an impressive manner.
“Sometimes it’s better to concede early than it is late,” he said. “We knew we had plenty of time, and the guys were very composed, came back, and responded positively.”
Michigan kept the ball in the Wisconsin end for almost five minutes before striking.
After some missed opportunities in the box, senior defender Brian Klemczak got a long ball to sophomore forward Tyler Arnone, who snuck the ball below the hands of the goalkeeper, bringing the game to a 1-1 draw.
Even without the guidance of head coach Daley on the sideline, Michigan was able to institute the head coach’s game plan in order to capitalize in the first 45 minutes. The half did end in a tie, but the Wolverines seemed to have the advantage, outshooting Wisconsin 8-4.
“At halftime, I felt like we were in the ascending seat,” McMenemy said. “We were starting to execute what we were trying to do.”
But when Michigan stepped back out onto the field, McMenemy could sense that the momentum they had earlier was subdued.
“Unfortunately, we came out a little bit flat after halftime, struggled to maintain possession, and conceded at an unfortunate time in the game which didn’t give us a ton of time to respond,” he said.
In fact, the timing couldn’t have been worse. After a grueling majority of the second half, with just 10 minutes left to play, Badgers junior Nick Janus was able to place a shot right over redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Adam Grinwis’ hands. The ball deflected into the net, giving Wisconsin the lead late in the game.
The Wolverines were unable to answer back quickly, and the game ended in 2-1 defeat for Michigan.
When asked about what the team needed to improve on in order to find success against Akron on Tuesday, McMenemy gave a concise answer.
“We just need a bit more discipline in terms of sticking to the plan that we designed,” he said. “And if the team continues with the work ethic and attitude they bring to training and to the games, I think that we’re not too far from seeing results on the road.”