Blue Collar Blog: Big Ten Tournament Time
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Nov. 13, 2013

The Wolverines will give fans the inside scoop on the goings on of Michigan men's soccer all season in the Blue Collar Blog. Grant Mattia scribes the latest installment and touches on the upcoming Big Ten Tournament.

Hey Wolverine fans, its freshman goalkeeper Grant Mattia here with the latest edition of the Blue Collar Blog.

My first year of college soccer at the University of Michigan has flown by and I can't believe we are already at the Big Ten Tournament. All year the support has been fantastic and the team is ready to bring home a Big Ten championship to Ann Arbor. The team is really fired up to start our "second season" and the first target on our list is Indiana.

We recently faced Indiana in the regular season where I happened to make my collegiate debut. After unusual circumstances in the first half, I was called upon to play between the pipes. Having not played a game this year, I was really excited to step onto the pitch with my teammates. The initial walk onto the field was full of emotions for me and felt almost surreal. The stadium lights under a dark sky along with the Big Ten Network cameras placed all over the field painted a perfect scene. As soon as the whistle blew, I was clocked in and ready to play.

Trailing 1-0 at halftime, the team knew it would take a great effort to come from behind and defeat last year's national champions but we were up to the task. The team put their full faith in me to provide stability in the back, and with fantastic help from the defense, we were able to keep a clean sheet in the second half. The solid defensive effort allowed for our offensive players to shine and score two unanswered goals to close out a win.

The win against Indiana was definitely the highlight of my season so far and I am sure the team can replicate the effort again in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament. All the players and staff have been giving 110 percent towards excelling as a program. Practices have been intense as the concentration of the squad has been heightened since the end of our regular season. Leadership from our captains has been key lately. This is because they have the experience of what the post season is like in college soccer and how important every game is.

Being able to train with team captain and goalkeeper Adam Grinwis every day has been fantastic. Watching how he performs on the field and how he leads the team has helped me advance as a player tenfold since the beginning of the season. The "Goalkeeper Union" has been putting in loads of work to make our position the strongest on the team.

The team is more than ready to make a deep run into the postseason and I cannot wait for what the future holds for the 2013 men's soccer team.

Go Blue!

Grant Mattia

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