Wolverines Head to Third Round of NCAA Tourney with OT Win over UCF
Nov. 21, 2010
Courtesy of Michigan Athletics
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Sophomore midfielder Latif Alashe (Northville, Mich./Northville) scored his second career goal in dramatic fashion to send the No. 19 ranked University of Michigan men's soccer team to a 2-1 overtime victory against the University of Central Florida at the U-M Soccer Stadium on Sunday (Nov. 21). The win puts the Wolverines into the third round of the NCAA tournament for the third time in program history and the first time since the 2008 season.
Alashe sealed the victory for the Wolverines, which is a program record 15 wins, just four minutes into the overtime session. The sophomore midfielder tipped a Hamoody Saad (Dearborn, Mich./Dearborn) free kick just behind the UCF goalkeeper Shawn Doyle to send the Wolverines into the next round and to keep them undefeated in the last seven games.
SoonySaad (Dearborn, Mich./Dearborn) posted a game-high 10 shots, with four reaching the frame. In addition to goals from Alashe and Meram, Hamoody Saad and Alex Wood (Northville, Michigan/Northville) added assists in the U-M victory. Goalkeeper Chris Blais (Seattle, Wash./Kennedy Memorial) made two saves in the contest and picked up his 15th win of the season and his fourth overtime career win.
The Wolverines, who found themselves trailing in the second half for just the second time in the last seven games, came out on fire in the second half. Senior forward Justin Meram (Shelby Township, Mich./Eisenhower) picked up his eighth goal in the last six games to equalize the score at 1-1 at the 49:48 mark. The goal, just five minutes into the second half, had the momentum shifted to favor the Wolverines.
U-M picked up their offense in the second half making some adjustments out of the halftime break. Michigan recorded a season-best 13 shots on goal and tallied 31 total shots on the afternoon, including 18 shots in the second half.
U-M had several fantastic scoring opportunities throughout the game including two seemingly point blank shots at the goal, but the UCF backline was solid and kept the Wolverines off the scoreboard until the second half.
UCF got on the board first during the ninth minute of action from a header off a throw in which was tapped just behind Blais. That was the only scoring opportunity they would get for the remainder of the game.
The Wolverines will take on No. 12 ranked South Carolina in the Sweet 16 round on Sunday (Nov. 28) in Columbia, S.C.