The University ofbegan the season ranked ninth in the NSCAA Coaches Poll. They lost their first game to BGSU and never hit the rankings thereafter. They lost to two other MAC schools: NIU (perhaps the second best MAC team), WMU (decent enough) and fell to 4-10-1 overall, coming into tonight's match with sixth-ranked Akron, the defending NCAA champions and newest MLS talent factory.
And what happens? You guessed it ... Michigan beat Akron 1-0 in overtime.
On a cold rainy pitch Akron mustered seven shots on goal, including two by likely All-American Darren Mattocks, but Michigan's Latif Alashe netted in a goal in the 97th minute to seal their first win against a MAC team this season. It doesn't sound impressive but in this topsy-turvy world of European soccer that can be considered an accomplishment.
UA falls to 10-2-2 on the season, which is already more losses than they had last season. In all fairness their last loss was also a puzzling and random defeat to Cleveland State, who finished 9-10-1 and didn't even make their conference championship game. But with this bad loss the Zips will almost certainly fall out of the top 10. Hope is not lost; this is not as strong a squad as they had last year but they're still expected to go deep into the NCAA tourney again. Especially since Michigan won't be there.