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Posted on Tue, Oct 18, 2011 : 11:37 p.m.

Michigan soccer takes down No. 4 Akron in NCAA semifinal rematch

By Pete Cunningham


Michigan's Tyler Arnone, left, and Fabio Villas Boas Pereira celebrate after beating Akron 1-0 in overtime Tuesday night at the U-M Soccer Stadium.

Jeff Sainlar I

Since the Michigan soccer lost to Akron in the semifinals of last year's NCAA College Cup, the two programs have been on opposite paths.

After winning the 2010 national championship, the No. 4-ranked Zips have remained among the nation's elite, compiling a 10-1-2 record. Michigan, meanwhile, has struggled to a 4-10-1 record and is at the bottom of the Big Ten standings.

None of that mattered on Tuesday night in Ann Arbor when junior midfielder Latif Alashe scored 6 minutes and 55 seconds into overtime to give the Wolverines a 1-0 victory.

"It was a good 90-minute game from us, 97-minute game from us. We haven't put a lot of complete efforts together, but this certainly was one," Michigan coach Steve Burns said.

Photo gallery: Images from the Michigan men's soccer team's OT win over No. 4 Akron


Michigan's Brian Klemczak goes for a header during Michigan's 1-0 win over Akron on Tuesday night.

Jeff Sainlar I

With Michigan pushing forward, Eric Stevenson placed a ball at Alashe's foot near the penalty area and Akron junior goalkeeper David Meves was caught off of his line. Alashe lofted a soft chip over Meves' head and into the back of the net.

After the post-goal celebration was quelled by a brief conference between the referee and his assistants, Alashe and his teammates joined the field-rushing student section that was among the 750 fans that braved the cold, rainy night at the U-M Soccer Stadium.

Both teams had their share of opportunities in regulation, Michigan ringing a pair of shots off the post and Akron having two empty-net opportunities stopped by Michigan defenders on the goal line, as well as some shots off the post.

Michigan had 10 shots on goal to Akron's 7. Meves' nine saves was a career-high

"You look at the overall chances of the game and certainly I thought they were pretty even," Burns said. "It was an entertaining game."

With eight of their 10 losses being decided by one goal, Alashe said the Wolverines "know we can play with just about anyone."

With just three regular season games remaining before the Wolverines host the Big Ten Tournament, could the win spark a late-season run?

"If anything can, what more can you ask for than to beat the (fourth-ranked) team in the country?" Alashe said. "We've been down on our luck a lot ... I mean most of the season, so it's good maybe to get the ball rolling. Maybe this will snowball into some more wins."

Pete Cunningham covers sports for He can be reached at 734-623-2561, by email at and followed on Twitter @petcunningham.