Sept. 5, 2009

Courtesy of Michigan

DES MOINES, IOWA - In a battle of nationally-ranked squads, Chase Tennant's goal in the 87th minute (86:25) propelled No. 22 Michigan to a 2-1 men's soccer victory over 21st-rated Drake on Friday evening (Sept. 4) at the Cownie Soccer Complex.

Michigan squared its ledger at 1-1 with the triumph, while Drake fell to 1-1 overall following the setback.

"We have to finish teams off," Bulldog head coach Sean Holmes commented.  "When you outshoot a team, 16-8, out-corner them 12-2 and create that many dangerous opportunities you have to finish the game off.  Two mistakes in our defensive third cost us the game."

The contest was a back-and-forth battle in the initial stanza as neither side cracked the scoring column, despite the Bulldogs outshooting Michigan, 7-2.

Mauro Fuzetti provided the Wolverines a 1-0 advantage at the 47:14 mark netting a goal off a solid assist from Justin Meram.

The score remained in Michigan's favor until senior Garrett Webb (Prairie Village, Kan./Shawnee Mission East) took a cross from sophomore Hunter Kennedy (Cedar Rapids, Iowa/Washington) at the top of the box and fired a laser that beat goalkeeper Chris Blais top shelf for his third goal of the season.

"I thought we were fantastic going forward and we have to turn a higher percentage of those opportunities into goals and we need to be more composed in the back third," Holmes said.  "I think sometimes it is hard to dominate the game and have the responsibility of dictating the play, but this is where we are as a program now and we have to deal with that obligation."

The contest was feisty for the entire 90 minutes as both sides were whistled for a combined 17 fouls and six yellow cards.

Senior Kevin Shrout (Lee's Summit, Mo./Lee's Summit) paced all players with five shots, while senior Luke Gorczyca (Overland Park, Kan./St. Thomas Aquinas), Webb and junior Matt Kuhn (Raytown, Mo./Raytown South) added three, two and two shots, respectively.  Fuzetti directed the Wolverine attack with three shots.

Redshirt sophomore Michael Noonan (Cedar Rapids, Iowa/Xavier) was outstanding off the bench for the Bulldogs as he consistently crossed the ball into the box to give his teammates scoring opportunities.

"I think Garrett (Webb) proved tonight why he is a legitimate Hermann Award candidate with three goals in two games, he was an absolute handful," Holmes explained.  "Michael (Noonan) off the bench was an absolute dynamo and really made a difference in our team."

Blais collected a game-high four saves for Michigan, while Drozd recorded one save for the Bulldogs.

The game was played before a spirited season-high crowd of 487 fans and Holmes felt the fans were treated to a great game.

"I thought tonight was a terrific college soccer game, end-to-end excitement," Holmes commented.  "If we're going to continue to grow and sell the game of soccer those are the types of games people want to see."

Drake closes out its three-match homestand on Sunday (Sept. 6) as it entertains Marquette at 7:00 p.m. at the Cownie Soccer Complex.