Aug. 29, 2007
The University of Michigan men's soccer team will begin its eighth year of varsity play this fall. The young Wolverine squad ended last season with an overall record of 7-10-4. Michigan finished sixth in the Big Ten Conference on a 1-2-3 record. Season highlights included the play of freshman forward Perica Marosevic who led the team with five goals, 12 points, 66 shots, and 24 shots on goal. The Maize and Blue also set a new season record for most shots with 346 while allowing a season-low 24 goals. At the Big Ten Tournament, sixth-seed Michigan knocked off the No. 3 seed Wisconsin, 1-0, in the quarterfinals only to fall to second-seeded Ohio State in the semifinals.
Head Coach Steve Burns has been at the helm since the program's inception, having amassed a 67-59-13 record during his tenure including NCAA Championship bids in 2003 and 2004. Burns has produced 32 Academic All-Big Ten honorees, nine All-Big Ten selections, one ESPN The Magazine Academic All-American and one College Soccer News All-American. He has also sent five of his players to the professional ranks.
For the 2007 season, Michigan retains 14 letterwinners, including nine starters, while losing 11 letterwinners, including two starters. The Wolverines will bring in what is considered by College Soccer News to be the 37th-ranked recruiting class in the nation, consisting of seven new faces. The freshmen include goalkeeper Chris Blais, forwards Vinny Crumrine and Tex McCullough, defenders Adam Keller, Jeffrey Quijano and Alex Wood and midfielder Adam Shaw.
Michigan's young but proven group of forwards looks to continue its aggressive play. Marosevic is looking for another successful season after receiving a spot on the 2006 All-Big Ten Freshman Team. Juniors Steve Bonnell (5a), who started 12 games during the 2006 season, and Santos Perez (1a) provide vital experience. Sophomores Jake Stacy (2g, 2a, 45s) and Mauro Fuzetti (2g, 4a, 40s) provide offensive firepower to the position. Crumrine, who was selected as West Virginia's sports writers' Player of the Year, and McCullough, the offensive MVP of the Texas 8-5A District, along with redshirt freshman Cam Cameron, round out the forwards.
Junior co-captain Alex Morisset, who started 20 matches last year, scored one goal and was named to the Michigan Invitational All-Tournament team, will be the top midfielder. Senior co-captain Michael Parke highlighted his junior season by scoring his first collegiate goal, a game-winner against Northern Illinois. Junior Nader Jarun played in 12 games after transferring from Vanderbilt University. Junior Steve Hecker, who took the 2006 season off, should be ready to take his play to the next level in 2007. Sophomore Daniel Gray played in 17 games last season with one start. Shaw will get playing time after receiving All-State honorable mention as a high school senior playing in Lone Tree, Colo.
Junior co-captain Michael Holody, who scored three goals and started 20 contests last season, returns to guide the defense. Senior Ben Carter, one of two seniors on the team, will provide expertise for the back line. Sophomore Julian Robles saw significant time on the pitch last season, starting in eight games. Wood, a Michigan native, will be joined by classmates Quijano, an All-Los Angeles first-team member, and Keller, a two-time All-State selection. Redshirt freshman Matt Schmitt will also provide depth to the position.
After a phenomenal first year in which he earned All-Big Ten Freshman Team honors, sophomore Patrick Sperry will take over the net once again. Sperry finished with five shutouts and set a Michigan record with a 1.10 goals-against average. Sperry will get help from junior Tom Huls, who joins the team after two seasons on U-M's club soccer team. Blais, a member of the Seattle All-Area team will have a chance to gain some experience as well.