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What Else Is Blue: Volleyball Rolls, Soccer and Field Hockey Split in Season-Opening Action

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The latest from the non-revenue Michigan teams heading into the weekend.

Michigan photography, S. Janicki

While much of the attention was focused on football’s successful opener against Middle Tennessee State, all around campus other teams were finding success in their own opening weekends, with every team that has played so far picking up at least one win. Here is your opening weekend non-revenue roundup, as well as a preview of what’s going on this week:

Women’s Soccer (3-1):

Last week: 5-0 W v. Marshall, 2-1 (OT) W v. Utah State, 2-0 W v. FGCU, 1-0 (2OT) L @ Marquette

Upcoming: Fri Sep 6, 7:30p v. Notre Dame, Sun Sep 8, 2p v. Bowling Green

The Wolverine women’s soccer team opened the Michigan athletic season. On a warm mid-August night the Wolverines took home a comfortable 5-0 win over Marshall, bookended by two goals from Sophomore Meredith Haakenson. Michigan needed overtime to win their second game against Utah Valley, with Sarah Stratagakis getting the winning tally:

The Wolverines avenged last year’s loss in Fort Meyers with a home win over Florida Gulf Coast, before dropping their first road match with a double-overtime loss against Marquette. The Golden Eagles and Wolverines were deadlocked at 0 for 107 minutes, and Michigan took 25 shots to Marquette’s 7. Unfortunately, it only takes one. 3-1 is still a strong start, and defending U-M Soccer Stadium is paramount.

If Michigan wants to get back in the win column, they’ll have to do it against a Notre Dame squad that is 4-0 and has only given up one goal in this young season. Michigan will stay in Ann Arbor, facing off against Bowling Green, who has started 1-1-1 after winning last year’s MAC Championship. Both matches are part of doubleheaders with the men’s side, and Sunday’s twinbill is also Pups at the Pitch day. Dogs must be registered in advance. Both matches will be on BTN+.

Men’s Soccer (1-1):

Last Week: 4-3 L v. FGCU, 3-1 W v. SIUE

Upcoming: Fri Sep 6, 5p v. Cornell, Sun Sep 8, 6p v. Washington

Michigan men’s soccer’s season opened with two back-and-forth, exciting games, and their record is the fair result of their effort. The Wolverines opened against Florida Gulf Coast, giving up two goals early to find themselves in a deep hole by the 15th minute. Michigan charged back, engineering a 2-2 halftime tie. Unfortunately, FGCU went back up 2 mid-way through the second, and Joel Harrison’s 89th minute goal wasn’t enough to make up the deficit. In the Labor Day matinee against SIU-Edwardsville Michigan took just four minutes to score its opening goal, a header from Derick Broche. It looked like Michigan was going to dominate the game from there, as they held possession for the majority of the first half. They couldn’t break through for a second and it cost them when SIUe tied it with 15 to play. Just when the announcer started explaining the overtime format with 4 minutes left, Nebojsa Popovic capitalized on an awful mistake by the keeper (below), then Broche added his second, and all of the sudden the 3-1 final matched the run of play.

Michigan dropped out of the United Soccer Coaches’ Poll, where they had been #24.

The men open the Friday night double-header by taking on Cornell. The Big Red have not yet started their season, and Michigan can look to capitalize on their rust while rounding into form. For their own match on Pups at the Pitch day the Wolverines have fittingly invited the Huskies of Washington. Washington is 2-0, and will be on the road for the first time in Ann Arbor.

#7 Field Hockey (1-1):

Last Week: 4-2 L v. UNC, 3-0 W v. Wake Forest

Upcoming: Fri Sep 6, 10p v. Stanford, Sun Sep 8, 6p v. Cal (All times Eastern)

The Wolverine field hockey team took on a tough challenge in their season opener, hosting the defending National Champion UNC Tarheels. Michigan opened the scoring early, with Meg Dowthwaite scoring just two minutes into the match. UNC scored two quick ones early in the second quarter before Kayla Reed tied the match. Less than a minute later, UNC added a third and much of the match was played at 3-2. Michigan could never find its third and UNC’s late goal produced a 4-2 final. Michigan had better luck against #10 Wake Forest, with Douthwaite scoring early again and never looking back. Michigan scored 3 goals and got the shutout, limiting Wake Forest to just one shot. While the upset over UNC would have been exciting, opening 1-1 against two top-10 opponents is an exciting start to the season.

The Wolverines now head west, as they’ll spend two games in Pac-12 country. First they’ll take on #21 Stanford. The Cardinal started 1-2 but are almost certainly better than their record, with both losses occurring against ranked teams. They’ll then head to Berkley to face off against Cal, who sits at 1-1. The first rankings update will not occur until next week.

#14 Volleyball (3-0):

Last Week: 3-0 W v. Oakland, 3-2 W v. N. Arizona, 3-0 W v. Tenn Tech.

Upcoming: Dayton Invitational, Dayton, OH: Fri Sep. 6, 10a v. Missouri, 5p v. NIU, Sat Sep. 7 v. Dayton (ESPN+)

As always, Michigan opened its season by hosting the Michigan Invitational. Michigan has found great success in their own Invitational previously, and this weekend was no different. Michigan went 3-0, with absolute domination of both Oakland and Tennessee Tech. Michigan swept both matches, with each opponent only eclipsing 20 points in a set once. Northern Arizona, however, caused the Wolverines a real scare. Michigan handily won the first set, building their lead with a 10-point run, causing a deficit NAU couldn’t quite dig out of. NAU fired back and won two straight sets, before Michigan forced a fifth set. NAU jumped out to a 7-4 lead, before the Wolverines took five straight points and a 9-7 lead they would never relinquish, winning the final set 15-10 and the match 3-2. Michigan was rewarded with a one-spot bump to #14 for their efforts.

Michigan now heads to Ohio for the Dayton Invitational. Michigan will open the Invite with what will likely be the hardest match of the weekend, against a 1-0 Mizzou team that sits just outside the Top 25. That evening they’ll take on 3-1 NIU, before facing the hosts on Saturday. Dayton is 1-3 with its only win over Miami (OH). The Flyers also pulled off an exhibition upset over Pitt, a team Michigan dispatched from last year’s NCAA Tournament. The Dayton match will be on ESPN+ (ESPN’s subscription service, not ESPN3, their bonus content provider for cable subscribers), but it does not appear other matches will be.

Cross Country:

Last Week: Michigan Open (no team scoring)

Upcoming: Men off until 9/20, Women off until 9/21.

Michigan began it’s Cross Country exhibition at the Michigan Open, which was only interscholastic on the men’s side and had no team scoring. On the men’s side Michigan’s top finisher was Isaac Harding, who ran the roughly 5km in 15:05.3, just four seconds short of professional Craig Huffer. Including those that ran unattached, 15 Wolverines would cross the finish line before the first Eastern Michigan Eagle, including a notable freshman named Tom Brady.

On the women’s side, the competition was highlighted by a winning debut for freshman Ericka VanderLende, who ran a 16:56.3. She was followed 22.2 seconds later by Senior Anna West. Cross country now takes a two-week break.