Michigan 20, Mercer 7
Michigan was able to rebound after their poor showing against the Nittany Lions last week, and get their first victory of the season over the Mercer Bears on Friday night.
The Bears got on the board first on a goal by freshman defender Collin Massa, but Michigan was then able to rattle of six unanswered goals to go up 6-1. Goal number six came just six seconds into the 2nd quarter, when freshman FOGO Will Biagi won the faceoff and assisted on the Andrew Portnoy goal. Just thirty seconds later, Mercer's Zack Ward put another goal on the board and made the score 6-2.
Michigan wasn't going to let up, though, and scored another four goals by way of Thomas Paras, David Joseph, Dan Kinek, and Ian King. Michigan now had a commanding 10-2 lead with just 7:32 to play in the first half. Yet Mercer wouldn't go away; the Bears were able to score three more times before the half, but with Michigan also scoring three more times, the score at the break would be 13-5 Michigan.
The third quarter saw the Bears score only one more time on a shot by Timmy Geran. Michigan, on the other hand, used five more scores to make it 18-6 and all but done at the end of the third quarter.
This was a performance that the Wolverines needed out of their young team. Seven players in the Maize and Blue scored multiple goals: David McCormack, 2; Kyle Jackson, 2; Mikie Schlosser, 2; Andrew Portnoy, 3; David Joseph, 2; Dan Kinek, 2; and Ian King, 2.
Robbie Zonino got the start in goal Friday, played the entire game and had 13 saves. He now has a save percentage of .450 that will hopefully continue to improve as he grows more comfortable between the pipes. Ian King is the leading scorer on the team with four; he also leads in overall points with five. Will Biagi was solid at the dot, winning 14 of 32 face-offs. Another encouraging stat to keep an eye on is Michigan's man-up opportunities; the Wolverines have scored on 6 of 11 chances so far in this young season.
Video of Michigan's win can be watched here.
Michigan's 1-1 record is good to see, but they'll need to beat someone other than Mercer if they want to start gaining more credibility. A good place to start would be by beating the...
Michigan takes on Detroit (1-0) on February 19 at 7 p.m. in Pontiac (Ultimate Soccer Arena). Detroit rallied to beat the same Mercer team that Michigan destroyed two days earlier. The Titans made it to the NCAA tournament last year and almost sent a normally defensively sound Notre Dame team home after the first round. Yes, UDM ultimately lost this game, but it was a game that was theirs for the taking.
Returning for the Titans is practically all of their offense from last year, which means that Michigan is going to have to be incredibly sound on defense in order to come away with the win. For the third time in his career, junior Shayne Adams scored a hatrick, and five other players posted two scores. Starting in the goal for Detroit was redshirt freshman Connor Flynn, who made a solid 16 saves in his debut.
College Crosse has a good preview of the Titans here. Note the turnover numbers.
Michigan will need to get a victory here in order to stay at .500 after a 2/22 match-up (and almost guaranteed loss) at a ranked Johns Hopkins team that beat Ohio State 10-9 in 3OTs and Towson by a margin of 15-8.