2005 Big Ten Preview

Aug. 25, 2005

Raising the Bar

In 2004, Michigan finished the year with its third-best record, 11-8-4 overall, 1-4-1 in the Big Ten.   The first and only conference victory came against the Big Ten's fourth ranked Wisconsin, 2-1 in overtime.  The Wolverines earned their second invitation to the NCAA Tournament where they beat Akron 2-1 and later suffered a second round loss to the NCAA Champion Indiana Hoosiers by a last minute goal.   

The 2005 Wolverines look for their leadership to come from their team-captains, seniors Adam Bruh (Roslyn Heights, N.Y./Wheatley HS), Ryan Sterba (Westlake, Ohio/St. Ignatius HS.) and junior Kevin Hall (Kalamazoo, Mich./Portage Central HS).  All three captains have been nominated as Michigan All-Time Lettermen, and finished second, fourth and tenth place, respectively, as the team point scorers. Bruh brings back his scoring ability after finishing tied for second on the team in goal scoring.  Sterba returns to the team after leading them in assists last year with seven for the season, while Hall will maintain the team's defensive prowess.    

Michigan adds six recruits this year, ranking 10th on the College Soccer News top 40 list for the new recruiting class.  Of the six new faces, two, Steve Bonnell (St. Clair Shores, Mich. /Detroit Country Day HS) and Jacob Stacy (Grand Rapids, Mich. /Forest Hills Central HS) are on the College Soccer News top 100 freshman to watch list.  Bonnell, a forward in high school, was named 2004 NSCAA Michigan Player of the Year, selected to the 2004 NSCAA High School Boys All-America Team, and scored a total of 92 career goals at Detroit Country Day.  Stacy, also a forward in high school, was named as Michigan's Mr. Soccer in 2004 and was also a selection for the NSCAA High School Boys All-America Team.  Joining these bright new stars are two defenders Michael Holody (Clarkston, Mich. / Clarkston HS) and Chase Tennant (Rochester, Mich. / Rochester HS), a midfielder, Alex Morrisset (Shelby Township, Mich. / De La Salle HS) and a goalkeeper, Patrick Sperry (Hinsdale, Ill. / Hinsdale Central HS) 

Head coach Steve Burns is 52-39-8 in five seasons as the leader of Michigan's varsity program. Last season Burns guided the Wolverines to an overall record of 11-8-4, and their second straight NCAA Tournament appearance. Since his taking the helm in 2000, Burns' Wolverines have bettered their record in each of his first five years. Prior to Michigan soccer being granted varsity status on March 26, 1999, Burns was the head coach of the Michigan club team since 1993. Under his leadership, Michigan posted a 121-51-26 mark (.677 winning percentage) and made six consecutive appearances in the national club championship tournament. The team won back-to-back national championships in 1997 and 1998.