Aug. 27, 2008
With 18 letterwinners from last year’s squad returning -- including two-year starting goalkeeper Patrick Sperry and the team’s top eight scorers -- the Maize and Blue will look for the third NCAA Tournament appearance in program history. In 2007, a young Wolverine squad featuring just two seniors finished the campaign with a 10-7-2 record, marking the fifth time in the nine-year history of the program that Michigan reached double-digit wins.
Head coach Steve Burns returns for his ninth season at the helm of the Wolverine program. He returns his entire coaching staff of a year ago in assistants Paul Snape and Chris Grassie and volunteer coach Waldir Souza.
After starting all 19 matches last season, Sperry returns for his third season between the posts for the Wolverines. Sperry recorded eight shutouts last season, giving him 13 for his career and the second-most in school history. Providing depth behind Sperry will be redshirt freshman Chris Blais and true freshman Tim Bergsma.
Across the backline the Maize and Blue return two players who each made 18 starts a season ago, senior second-year tri-captain Michael Holody and junior Julian Robles. Holody, an All-Big Ten second team performer a season ago, showed the ability to contribute on both ends of the field last season, as he scored four goals and had ten points in addition to being named U-M’s defensive MVP. After being named to the Big Ten All-Freshman team in 2006, Robles built upon that with another strong season in 2007 as a sophomore.
In addition to Holody and Robles, the Wolverines return two other defenders that made significant contributions in 2007. Sophomore Jeff Quilano made ten starts last season as a freshman and Matt Schmitt appeared in all 19 matches, making eight starts, and scored three goals. The Wolverines are also looking to give sophomore Adam Keller a bigger role after getting a season of college soccer under their belt. Michigan will also add a pair of freshman to their defensive corp as Jerrett Kerr and Eric Leifland join the Maize and Blue in 2008.
Two of Michigan’s three tri-captains, senior Alex Morisset and junior Daniel Gray, will lead the Wolverines from the midfield in 2008. Morisset, who also served as one of Michigan’s tri-captains in 2007, brings a tremendous amount of experience to the middle of the field for the Maize and Blue, having made 38 starts in the past two seasons and 45 overall in his U-M career. Gray also brings plenty of experience to the pitch, having played in all 19 matches for the Wolverines last season. Fifth-year senior Michael Parke and senior Santos Perez add to the breadth of experience in the middle third. Parke played in six matches, making five starts, in 2007 before suffering a season-ending injury. Perez started 16 games for the Wolverines last season.
Senior Nader Jarun, sophomore Alex Wood, redshirt freshman Adam Shaw and feshman Alex Klein will also make bids to time in the U-M line-up
Michigan returns four attacking options that each scored ten or more points in 2007. Senior Jake Stacy leads the talented group of forwards after finishing tied for 11th in the nation in assists with ten. Stacy also netted four goals to give him 18 points on the season. Junior Perica Marosevic, Michigan’s leading goal scorer in 2007 with six markers, brings two All-Big Ten second team accolades with him along with a summer of experience with the U.S. Under-20 National Team. Junior Mauro Fuzetti scored four goals for the Wolverines in 2007, including a team-high three game-winners, and senior Steve Bonell added three goals and four assists for the Maize and Blue last season. Junior/sophomore Cam Cameron, who added three goals to the Michigan attack last season, and senior/junior Tom McCurdy add to the depth up front.