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September 16, 2011 - Image 10

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The Michigan Daily, 2011-09-16

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10 - Friday, Semptember 16, 2011

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

Notre Dame will be massive test for Wolverines

By MATT SLOVIN
Daily Sports Writer
If the Michigan men's soc-
cer team is at its best form of the
young season - and seeing as the
Wolverines (2-4-1) are unbeaten
in their last three games, that
seems to be the case - good for-
tune has it that its biggest test is
next.
When the team travels to South
Bend on Friday to take on No. 22
Notre Dame, Michigan coach
Steve Burns hopes his squad has
learned quickly enough - from
its dismal start and its positive

results of late - to pass.
"Notre Dame is a very good
team," Burns said Wednesday.
"We know that their game is
going to pose some problems for
us."
The Fighting Irish (2-1-2) are
entering a treacherous portion
of their schedule with a visit to
Michigan State later this week-
end followed by a tilt with nation-
al power Louisville on September
24.
With those matches, as well as
Big East play lying ahead, Notre
Dame knows it can't afford to
make mistakes similar to the ones

the Fighting Irish made in a dou-
ble-overtime loss to Saint Louis -
their lone defeat thus far.
But, like Notre Dame, Michi-
gan's success of late has oppo-
nents struggling to figure out its
tactics.
With just two more non-con-
ference battles before Big Ten
opponents begin fillingthe sched-
ule, the Wolverines are playing
much more confidently than they
did to start the season -- when
goals were hard to come by.
In fact, Michigan is coming off
of its highestscoringoutput of the
season in a 4-1 win over Detroit on

Wednesday. During that match, Burns doesn't think the Wol-
junior forward Etienne Lussiez verines need to look farto find an
opponent that parallels the Fight-
ing Irish's intensity and physical-
ity - traits that have them picked
"Their game to finish second in the Big East's
Blue Division. Rather, ateam that
is 0111gto Michigan drew last week is com-
par able.
pose problems p"They're a lot like George-
town but they probably have a
for us. little more depth," Burns said,
"They've got a great midfielder
and a legitimate four up front."
Michigan goalkeeper Adam
scored his first career goal. And Grinwis will be tasked with stop-
second. And third. ping that talented Notre Dame

attack. Junior midfielder Dillon
Powers, in particular, can cause
significant problems roaming the
center of the pitch. On the other
end, it seems that opportunities
to get past Fighting Irish senior
netminder Will Walsh will be
few.
So when a chance does pres-
ent itself for the Wolverines
- whether via a sophomore mid-
fielder Fabio Villas Boas Pereira
strike or a sophomore forward
Malcolm Miller run - Michigan
simply has to take advantage.
"They don't give up a lot of
chances," Burns said.

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