On a scorching hot night in Ann Arbor, with the weather feeling more like Florida than Michigan, the Michigan men’s soccer team’s head coach Chaka Daley did what he couldn’t quite do down there in Florida — win his first game at Michigan. The Wolverines defeated Vermont, 3-0, in their home opener Friday.

“If you win, (the fans) will come,” Daley said. “Obviously we want to keep that going (at home).”

The Wolverines did it even though the Catamounts dictated play for the game’s opening minutes. Just three minutes in, Vermont (1-2) ripped a shot that, luckily for Michigan redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Adam Grinwis, narrowly sailed over the crossbar. Grinwis ultimately recorded one save in the shutout. It was Grinwis’ first shutout since Oct. 18 last season when Michigan upset No. 4 Akron, 1-0. He had two in 2011.

“Adam’s been impressive to us all preseason,” Daley said. “He had a good summer of training with the Michigan Bucks and he came back sharp, motivated and hungry to grow as a goalkeeper.”

After the Catamounts maintained possession in the early going, play shifted to a more balanced, up-tempo match. But at the 10-minute mark, a Vermont forward had a couple of paces on the Michigan defense, but used his hand to control the ball and was whistled for the infraction.

Michigan freshman midfielder Luke Coulson had the team’s first shot and near miss of the evening in the 14th minute when he struck a ball surprisingly cleanly not far from the center circle. Coulson’s shot sailed high and out of bounds. One minute later, senior forward Etienne Lussiesz took a rebound from the top of the goal box that a Catamount defender had to take off the goal line with the goalie, Dave Ramada, out of position.

The Wolverines (1-1) opened the scoring in the 24th minute. Senior forward Latif Alashe notched a header off a corner kick, one of five in the first half for Michigan, from the right side of the goal box. Alashe and his teammates sprinted over to the Michigan student section to celebrate the tally that, like Coulson’s in Tampa last weekend, gave the Wolverines a 1-0 lead. But this time, the lead would stand for the duration.

Vermont threatened in the 26th minute when Grinwis knocked away a dangerous pass for a Catamount corner, which the Wolverine defense promptly cleared away.

In the 33th minute, Michigan added to its lead when Coulson took a throw in near the corner that went to junior midfielder Dylan Mencia. He gave the ball right back to Coulson who bent a cross into the box that the goalie misplayed and it found the side netting.

During post-game stretches with his teammates, Coulson was hesitant to call it a cross. But later, he admitted that he wasn’t searching for the net.

“OK, I wanted to cross it,” Coulson said sheepishly. “There you go, I’ve said it.”

Coulson called the goal a “keeper mistake.”

The Wolverines wrapped up the scoring just three minutes from the final whistle on a goal off a nonchalant shot from junior forward T.J. Roehn that somehow trickled away from the Vermont goalie.

Michigan next hosts Cleveland State on Sunday at 4 p.m.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.