The Michigan men’s soccer team has improved its record every
season since gaining varsity status three years ago, ending with
last year’s team nearly winning the championship game in the Big
Ten conference tournament.
The trend seems to be continuing this season, as the team
currently holds a 2-0-1 record after their first three games,
including wins over No. 22 Loyola-Marymount and Xavier and a tie
with No. 12 Notre Dame.
Last year’s schedule pitted the Wolverines against similarly
ranked teams Akron, UC-Santa Barbara and No. 10 Notre Dame. But the
team only triumphed over Akron, leaving it with a 1-2-0 record
after the first three games.
After this Sunday’s win against Loyola-Marymount, junior
goalkeeper Peter Dzubey commented on how crucial it is to start the
season so successfully.
“From the beginning of the season we had our minds set on this
one game,” Dzubey said, “Last year we came out and got smacked our
first game 5-3 (by UC-Santa Barbara) – it was bad. So we just said,
if we could win this one, we can go at it and play each game one at
a time and set the tone for the season.”
However, Michigan head coach Steve Burns has more to be thankful
for than just these three solid games now under his belt. Burns,
who has been with the team since it became varsity, has the chance
to see his efforts for the past three seasons come full circle.
Seven seniors return this year who will have been with the varsity
program since its beginning. Among those seniors are standout
defenders Kevin Taylor and Joe Iding, midfielder Mike White, and
forwards Kevin Robinson and Tom Gritter.
Hot start: Juniors Knox Cameron and Mychal Turpin have emerged
as early scoring leaders for the team with two goals each after
just three games.
Turpin was first to get his name on the scoreboard when he
notched one last week during an exhibition game against No.12 Notre
“Mychal Turpin was our ‘man of the match,'” said Burns about
Turpin’s goal in the Notre Dame game, “Mychal was dangerous right
out of the gate in the second half. He is a handful on the
offensive side of the ball, and he will play a big role in our
season this year. He times his runs so well that he will have many
scoring chances this year.”
In Sunday’s game against Loyola-Marymount, Turpin was again the
first Wolverine to score. He slipped the ball in after sophomore
Adam Bruh kicked the ball from the corner to Cameron, who then
passed it to Turpin for the goal. Not even a minute later, a role
reversal happened when Turpin assisted on a goal of Cameron’s.
On Monday, Cameron caught up with Turpin and raked in his second
goal of the season when he scored against Xavier.
But more than just the duo’s coach and teammates took note of
their fancy footwork. Turpin was named Big Ten Co-Offensive Player
of the Week while Cameron was put on College Soccer News’ National
Team of the Week.
Kick ’em when they’re down: Soccer is known to be a low-scoring
game, so even when one team outplays the other, it could still
easily lose on the scoreboard. However, knocking some balls in
can’t hurt sometimes.
In the game against Loyola Marymount on Sunday, Michigan got off
to a shaky start when it allowed the Lions to take possession of
the ball for large periods of time during the first half.
But after two quick goals at the beginning of the second half,
the Wolverines took the confidence away from their opponents. Once
Michigan had established its lead, Loyola-Marymount only managed to
take two unsuccessful shots for the remainder of the second