Hope has resurfaced for the Michigan men’s soccer team at a time when the Wolverines’ season seemed to be on its last leg.

Timely play from the back line, which was missing senior defender and captain Brian Klemczak kept the team on top after a pair of unanswered goals by the Wolverines. It was enough for Michigan to grab its second win all-time against Indiana, winning by a final score of 2-1.

The Wolverines (2-2-1 Big Ten, 5-7-1 overall) arrived in Bloomington on Friday to face the 11th-ranked Hoosiers (3-1-0, 10-3-2) looking to get the road victory that has eluded them all season.

Indiana struck first in the match’s 27th minute, when forward Femi Hollinger-Janzen trapped a through ball inside the Michigan penalty area and slid it home underneath redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Adam Grinwis.

The Wolverines were quick to answer though, and within seven minutes of the Hoosier goal, redshirt sophomore midfielder Tyler Arnone nailed home a give-and-go from junior midfielder Fabio Pereira into the corner of the net.

In the 48th minute, Michigan got its go-ahead goal from freshman forward James Murphy. Coming off a spectacular feed from junior forward T.J. Roehn, Murphy slotted the ball past the Indiana goalkeeper for his first collegiate score.

With almost an entire half left in regulation, a formidable foe on the road, the Wolverines couldn’t afford to get ahead of themselves, assistant coach Tommy McMenemy said. He told the team at halftime that it needed to just follow the gameplan.

“We need to trust in the game plan and stick to it,” McMenemy said. “Just execute like we’re capable of doing and try to focus more on possession. If we can do that, we’ll finish a lot more close matches.”

But solid play in the second half has not been the team’s forte this fall. In the opening half this season, Michigan has outscored opponents 11-6, but it has been outscored 11-5 after halftime. The Wolverines’ defense during crunch time has cost them games against Penn State and Wisconsin in the past few weeks.

The final 10 minutes of the match on Friday showcased Michigan’s effectively reckless defense, as the Hoosiers had four corner kicks and four shots on goal in that stretch.

Fortunately for Michigan, the stellar back line showcased its mettle once again this season. Led by Grinwis in net, the defense did not allow the equalizer in the second half, and he finished the game with seven saves.

It was an important win for Michigan, since Indiana is one of the top teams in the nation. McMenemy hopes that the victory will start to show critics that Michigan is a team capable of doing damage when playing up to its full potential.

“Earning a win against Indiana is huge, especially at their home field,” McMenemy said. “This will go a long way in helping us receive an at-large bid in the postseason.”

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