Junior Corinne Harris brings fans up to speed on this year's new team, from preseason through its 2-0 start at home last weekend, and also previews the Wolverines' first road trip to California for a pair of matches.
On the progress this young team has made so far this season ... "We knew we were coming in with a really new group of players. We lost a lot of starters, but we also knew that we had a talented group of kids coming in. Our mindset has been 'let's just see how everyone does when we get out onto the field and let's figure out who we are and where we can build on and really be strong'. In practice, we've been progressing and working to our strengths and counting on a lot of juniors and seniors for leadership, while there are still a lot of underclassmen. We're trying to build as a team and get better every day and focus on our strengths."
On how her roll at Michigan has evolved throughout her career ... "I went from playing outside forward to midfield this year. Just being a junior and upperclassmen in general, I've been through a lot with two great Michigan teams and had the chance to look to a lot of older girls. And now I find myself in that leadership position. It's a shift in trying to teach the younger kids what Michigan is and what Michigan is about and building that team culture that I was so fortunate to have these great older girls teach me."
On having three assists in the first weekend and helping create opportunities for her team ... "I think what I've learned the most is to always give 100 percent effort. I think that no matter how you're playing, if you're having an off touch or you're not making the best passes, as long as you're fighting you're going to create a lot of turnovers and things will work out. One of the things I've learned from the coaching staff and from all the players I've played with is to always give it your best effort. When you're in college, you're coming off of playing club, and it's a lot different -- you get to college and realize you have to step it up even more. You just kind of learn as you go and it helps you get better and better."
On the strengths of this year's team and what they're working on for upcoming games ... "One of our strengths is that we have a ton of speed everywhere on the field. Our defense, midfield and forwards are all fast, hard workers. I think that we're looking to play a lot of quick, fast passes and move together up the field as a unit. We want players to be able to interchange in roles and be very quick and dynamic. We started with those strengths because everyone has those naturally and now it's just about building and being able to figure each other out and know where we're going to be. We'll only get better as a unit as we build on those strengths."
On the importance of starting 2-0 and getting game experience at home before the first road trip ... "It was awesome to get those two wins. Every time you have a really new team you're not sure how it's going to go. Everyone came out and really fought for each other. Getting that momentum going into these next two games is really important for us. We want to show that we can win games on the road as well so that's our next step."
On this young team getting adjusted to its soccer routine before classes start next week ... "It's really important. We had three-a-days of practice when we first got here and we even had time to go to a lake house and really get to know each other. I think having all day, every day to be committed to soccer and your teammates helps us a lot. We not only get to know each other, which is so important for this team, but also to get better and better every day on the field and focus on that."
On what the team is looking forward to about its trip to San Diego ... "It will help from a bonding aspect. You get to room with people you don't normally get to live with; we go to all our meals together and it's really a time when you get to know your teammates better. I'm sure that will be fun for all the new players to get to experience their first road trip. Soccer-wise, it's hard to play games at home, but it's even harder when you're on the road and you're not in your usual routine. I think we'll learn a lot about how we adjust and how we can make ourselves play our best on the road as well as when we're in front of our home fans.
Contact: Whitney Dixon