By GEOFF MEHL, Staff Reporter
The University of Michigan-Dearborn men’s varsity soccer team began the season with a hot start, going 3-1 on their first four games. The team is looking forward to a great season after a disappointing 1-12-1 record in 2012.
The Wolverines began their season with a crushing victory over Cleary University winning 6-1 at home. They then traveled to the Georgetown College Tournament- Tiger Classic, where they went 2-0. They defeated Georgetown College 4-1 and Mid-Continent University 2-1.
After coming off a high from a 3-0 season start, they traveled back to Michigan to face Rochester College on the road. The Wolverines fought hard, but fell to Rochester 2-1 with about 1:30 left in double overtime.
The Wolverines outscored their opponents 13-5 in the first four games. They have taken and allowed 29 shots on goal. The offense is scoring on 24 percent of their shots and is averaging 3.25 goals per game.
The defense has been strong as well, only allowing 6 percent of shots to go in and opposing offenses are averaging just 1.25 goals per game.
Stand out junior Iris Mesic has had a phenomenal start to his season.
The forward is leading the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference in total points (11) and assists (5). He also ranks second in the conference in goals with three.
Mesic was sidelined with an undisclosed injury late against Rochester and his status is still unknown for their upcoming games.
Senior midfielder Damjan Stamenkovik has also started the season strong for the Wolverines. He leads the team with four goals and has one assist.
The strong start by UM-Dearborn wasn’t a big surprise for coach Mike Hatfield. He believes the team has much better chemistry this time around.
“We have a better cohesiveness amongst the group” Hatfield said. “The development from last year to this year has been good, every player is getting better.”
UM-Dearborn has only four more games left in the month of September and they need to make them count. They take on Olivet Nazarene University, Spring Arbor University, Taylor University and Lawrence Tech University.
Olivet travels to Dearborn on September 14 for a defining game for the Wolverines. Olivet is currently ranked twenty-second in the nation and will be a big measuring stick for the season going forward.