On Tuesday, Oakland University made the short bus trip from Rochester Hills, Mich. to Ann Arbor and rolled in with a lot of momentum. In their last five games, all which were wins, the Golden Grizzlies had outscored their opponents, 19-2. But the Michigan men’s soccer team put a halt to Oakland’s hot streak, winning the match, 1-0.
Michigan coach Chaka Daley did not coach the game from the sidelines because of a leg injury he suffered earlier in the day. Instead, Daley sat in the press box while assistant coach Tommy McMenemy filled in on the sidelines for the injured Daley. However, McMenemy said that the team makeup was not affected by the coaching change.
“There wasn’t really a ton of coaching to be done,” McMenemy said. “The plan is in place long before kickoff.”
Save a single shot by Oakland midfielder Shawn-Claud Lawson, the first half was all Michigan. The Wolverines had four solid scoring opportunities by the 10th minute, but couldn’t capitalize on any of them.
The Wolverines’ attack came to fruition in the 13th minute. Junior forward T.J. Roehn set up redshirt freshman midfielder Colin McAtee with a pass, and McAtee snuck the ball just left of the fingertips of Oakland goalkeeper Scott Messner.
“I saw the play developing,” Roehn said. “I just looked up, played the ball in, and Colin was there to get on the end of it. That’s the second game in a row we’ve linked up for a goal.”
Oakland, having scored 31 times on the season, turned up the pressure after Michigan’s goal. Still, a shutout by Michigan redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Adam Grinwis kept the Golden Grizzlies from finding the back of the net.
It didn’t come easily, though.
In the 20th minute, after an Oakland through ball, Grinwis found himself one-on-one with Lawson. Grinwis came off of his line and stuffed Lawson, and then trapped the ball between his legs.
For the rest of the first half, both offenses cooled off and the physicality of the game picked up.
“Pretty physical game, on both sides of the ball,” McMenemy said. “If people are noticing that the game on our end of the ball is getting a bit more physical, then we’re doing something right.”
In the second half, both goalkeepers played well. Each team had their fair share of face-to-face encounters between attackers and goalies, but in all cases the netminders stood strong. There were a total of 13 shots, six of which were shots on goal.
Grinwis was challenged a final time in the game when Oakland midfielder Matt Dudley was coming down the right side of the penalty area. Grinwis charged at Dudley, who booted it right to the goalie.
A minute later, Grinwis punched a dangerous ball away through a crowd of players, sealing the win for the Wolverines.
The Wolverines (1-1-1 Big Ten, 4-5-1 overall) will travel to Madison to play Wisconsin (0-2-0, 3-5-3) in their next matchup.
“We’re playing Wisconsin, it’s a huge game,” Roehn said. “We’ve just got to keep bringing the fire that we have.”