What looked like it would be a down-to-the wire nail biter, turned into a Cleveland State drubbing of the Michigan men’s soccer team.

Though Cleveland State won 3-0 on an overcast Sunday afternoon at the Michigan Soccer Stadium, senior defensemen Brian Klemczak and Kofi Opare anchored a mostly-solid defensive effort by the Wolverines. In the first half, they controlled the center of the field and did a good job maintaining possession.

But the Vikings had more chances offensively than Michigan, in part because of the Wolverines were unable to possess the ball on offense.

“We were poor defensively all around,” Michigan coach Chaka Daley said. “We were poor in the first half defensively, we were just fortunate. We tried to acknowledge that at halftime and tidy some things up, but it just went from bad to worse unfortunately.”

But the defensive effort wasn’t enough to get the offense going in the first half. Though Michigan dominated the time of possession in the first half, the Wolverines tallied just seven shots compared to the Vikings’ six. Even so, the only important statistic that Michigan didn’t control was the score — deadlocked at zero by the halftime whistle.

The Wolverine’s best scoring opportunity in the first half came during the 16th minute from junior Fabio Pereira. After receiving a crossing pass, Pereira had a point-blank look while sliding to reach the ball with his foot, but Viking senior goalie Brad Stuver charged, cutting the angle, and made the stop.

When Daley went to the bench late in the first half, it appeared he was attempting to give the Wolverines an extra push offensively. With 14:30 he subbed in junior forward Malcolm Miller and junior midfielder Ezekiel Harris. Five minutes later he would go to the bench again with freshman midfielder Jason Stacy.

Cleveland State also went to the bench in the first and second half and got the type of production Michigan was looking for from its reserves. Just three minutes into the second half the Vikings scored on a goal from freshman forward Alfonso Sandoval. Following a rebound, Klemczak tripped and ended up on the ground, allowing Sandoval to have a clear shot directly in front of the goal. Redshirt sophomore Adam Grinwis never had a chance to stop it, as the shot was from point-blank range.

“We seemed to lose a little bit of energy and our determination (in the second half),” Klemczak said. “We lost a little bit of fight. When we needed to win our individual battles we didn’t.”

Following the goal, Cleveland State assumed all of the momentum and kept it for the remainder of the half, out shooting the Wolverines 10-5 for a final count of 16-12 on the game.

After a noticeable miscommunication and the Vikings second goal, the Michigan defense was in tatters. They looked confused and frustrated with each other and the situation. It didn’t help that two minutes later Cleveland State scored another easy goal making it 3-0 and out of reach for the Wolverines. Though the final score was 3-0, the first goal was the difference — breaking the tie.

“It is very frustrating to see goals like that go in,” Klemczak said. “But we need to respond better than we did and we need to have better leadership coming from everybody.”

Michigan will be back in action on Sunday Sept. 9 when it takes on Northeastern at home. This will be the final game of the Wolverines’ current three-game home stand, and they’ll be looking to get back on track after the loss to Cleveland State.

“As a result (of today) we’ll have to go back to the drawing board and get back to work,” Daley said. “Tomorrow is a new day.”

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