By GEOFF MEHL, Staff Reporter
The Wolverines men’s soccer team defeated conference rival Cornerstone University 1-0 in double overtime on Saturday. The victory brought an end to a four game losing streak for the men and brought confidence back into the locker room.
“Hopefully this win gets us ignited” UM-Dearborn coach Mike Hatfield said. “They all (players) bought into our game plan.”
Wolverine’s men’s soccer has been on a disappointing skid lately but has begun to turn things around. They are 1-2 since September 17 but the team had a rejuvenating victory against conference rival Cornerstone.
During double overtime, Hatfield brought in junior forward Iris Mesic with just minutes left. On his first touch of the game, he was able to penetrate the defense and score. This was Mesic’s fourth goal of the season.
The remarkable thing about the goal wasn’t that it was in double overtime or that they beat a premier team in the conference, but that Mesic had not played in the last four games, including this one, due to a knee injury. Mesic entered the game less that 100 percent healthy but was still able to make crucial plays.
The Wolverines had lost four straight before this game to fall to 3-4 on the season. This win brought them back to .500 and keeps them back on track to try and make the playoffs. They fell to Spring Arbor University 2-1 and Taylor University 4-0.
It has been really tough on a Wolverines team that has both their best offensive and defensive weapons sidelined in the young season. It’s been a challenge for Hatfield as he tries to get the team back on track.
“It’s like trying to play chess” he said. “Changing our system on the fly is hard.”
Now that conference play has opened up, the Wolverines are in a good position to make the top six to make the playoffs. Though it will not be easy, coach Hatfield thinks his team is on the right track.
“We need to get the games we’re supposed to get” he said. “We can’t let points slip away.”
This week the Wolverines play two more conference games. They take on Davenport University on the road on October 2 at 7 pm, then they come back home to play Lawrence Tech University on Saturday October 5 at noon.