Coming off a disappointing loss to No. 17 Marquette (6-0) on Friday night, the Michigan men’s soccer team had high aspirations coming into Sunday’s home match against No. 8 Notre Dame in Ann Arbor.
Those aspirations seemed to become more real as the match progressed – until the 103rd minute, that is.
The Wolverines (2-4) fell to the Fighting Irish (7-0) early in the second period of extra time off a 30-yard cross delivered from Notre Dame senior midfielder Dillon Powers to senior forward Ryan Finley, who headed the ball in the left corner to give the Fighting Irish a 1-0 victory.
Michigan had its chances, but so did Notre Dame. The Wolverines managed to tally 13 shots during the game but just two were on goal. The Fighting Irish had 17 shots, and nine were fired on goal, keeping Michigan sophomore goalkeeper Adam Grinwis busy the entire afternoon.
Grinwis tallied a career-high eight saves. Many of those stops came at key moments of the game, including three free kicks all from inside 20 yards.
When he wasn’t leading the Wolverines with his saves, Grinwis was the vocal leader of the team. He constantly kept his defense organized, visibly shouting out instructions at any point in the match.
“As a goalkeeper, I can see everybody on the field, and I wanted to be able to coach my team as well as I can,” Grinwis said.
He and the Michigan squad certainly gave the Fighting Irish all they could handle, but it was what Michigan coach Chaka Daley called “another bad goal at a bad time” that ended up deciding the match.
“Sometimes you play good soccer and you still don’t get a win or a result. It’s unfortunate but we’ll move forward,” Grinwis said.
Looking ahead, Daley believes his team can show improvement, especially with the Big Ten season on the horizon.
“It starts with tightening up our own 18(-yard box), because we’ve conceded bad goals at bad times this year,” Daley said. “It’s been our Achilles’ heel all season.”
Keeping the defense organized and compact will help the Wolverines maintain consistency and limit mistakes similar to the one that cost them the upset against the Fighting Irish.
Michigan will head to Lakeside Field in Evanston on Sunday to take on Northwestern in its first conference match of the year. There, the Wolverines will look to start their quest for a second Big Ten championship in the program’s short history.