Sarah Stratigakis took a great crossing pass from Reilly Martin and used her right foot to help get Michigan off on the right foot in the Wolverines’ season opener against visiting Washington on Friday night.
Martin, a junior forward, made a nifty move coming down the left side and sent a beautiful pass over to a wide open Stratigakis and the freshman buried it as the Wolverines ended up burying the Huskies 2-0 on a perfect night for soccer at Michigan Soccer Stadium.
Junior Abby Kastrol also was credited with an assist on the first goal at 7:16 of the first half.
At the 15:43 mark of the first half, junior Taylor Timko (Rochester Hills) turned a rebound off the Washington keeper into a Michigan goal to make it 2-0. Sophomore Brooke Cilley earned the assist.
U-M (1-0 overall) led 2-0 at the half. Neither team scored in the second half.
Getting off to such an impressive start was quite impressive, considering the Wolverines are fielding a young team.
Head Coach Greg Ryan realizes it will take some time for the players to get to know each other but Friday’s introduction was a good start.
“It was a great win, a great result for us,” said Ryan, in his 10th year with the Michigan soccer program. “They’re a senior-dominated team with a lot of players with a lot of experience. We have a young team so to come out with a win against a team from the Pac-12 is fantastic.”
Senior goalies Megan Hinz (first half) and Sarah Jackson (second half) pitched the shutout for the Wolverines. Hinz made the biggest save of the night when she tipped a direct kick from just outside the box over the crossbar late in the first half.
“That was scary, but she was able to get a hand on it and tip it up over the bar for a fantastic save,” Ryan said. I thought Sarah did a great job in the second half dealing with a lot of shots from distance. Both had great nights.”
Ryan went with a freshman-dominated midfield and that’s where the Wolverines won the game.
“I thought they played fantastic,” he said. “They have all seniors in the midfield including two who play with the US National Team and one who plays for Mexico’s National Team. We have three brand new kids playing against their experienced players and I thought we did very well. They are going to be a great midfield for us for four years.”
The Wolverines host Idaho State at 2 p.m. on Sunday.