In the 11th minute of the Michigan men’s soccer team’s match against Oakland, spectators saw graduate transfer forward Nebojsa Popovic fire a shot at Golden Grizzlies goalkeeper Sullivan Lauderdale. They saw senior forward Jack Hallahan bury the rebound in the back of the net and run off celebrating.
But the most important part of the play came before that. Faced with a charging defender along the sideline, junior winger Umar Farouk Osman made a quick stutter-step that put his opponent on skates, creating space for a cross to Popovic to set up the goal.
The Wolverines’ (3-2-1) ability to maintain possession under pressure was vital to their success against Oakland (3-2-1) at the U-M Soccer Stadium on Tuesday.