Saturday had the Wolverines in control of their own destiny: a win against the Grand Valley State University Lakers guaranteed Michigan a trip to the Regional Tournament. Moreover, Saturday symbolized the beginning of a new era for Michigan club soccer as the Wolverines played their first ever home game on the new turf field in the Mitchell Field complex.
After a great warm-up, Michigan came out flying against the Lakers and created several chances on goal by exposing the weak GVSU defense. Unfortunately, 25 minutes into the game, a slip by a Michigan defender lead to a break-away for GVSU and put the Wolverines down 1-0 early in the game. Nevertheless, Michigan continued to dominate the game with great possession and even more quality chances on goal. Finally, with 10 minutes to go in the first half, Sophomore defender, Brett Wietecha, carried the ball into the GVSU half along the right sideline, cut into the middle of the field and blasted a left-footed shot into the far side-netting of the GVSU goal to tie the game 1-1.
This was; however, not enough. GVSU knew that anything but a loss against Michigan would lead to their Regional Tournament bid and, therefore, played a very conservative second half. Despite even more impressive play by Michigan in the second half, Michigan was not able to breach the GVSU defense and find the back of the goal to win the match. The final whistle blew and, for the second year in a row, Michigan and GVSU tied 1-1.
With this result, Michigan must find a decisive win in their final regular season match tomorrow (Sunday, October 19) against Ball State. However, in order for the Wolverines to go to the Regional tournament, Central Michigan must at least tie against Western Michigan in their final matches of their seasons in order togive Michigan the final bid of the Central Division for the Regional Tournament in Indianapolis.