- Torehan Sharman/Daily
BY MICHAEL WELCH
Daily Sports Writer
Published October 28, 2010
In the 14th minute of the Michigan men’s soccer team’s 5-1 victory over Bowling Green Wednesday night, freshman forward Soony Saad scored a rare and incredible goal, launching a ball 67 yards from midfield into the net.
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But for Saad, it was typical enough.
“People say that’s my trademark, to score it from my own half, because I did it in high school a lot and I also did it in club ball,” Saad said.
Saad’s 67-yard goal from behind midfield was the longest goal in Michigan men’s soccer (9-4-3) history.
“I always keep tabs on the goalie at the start of the game,” Saad said. “I usually like to see if he’s out to chip it.”
For most forwards, it’s normal to attempt to chip a goalie from outside of the box when the goalie is creeping too far away from his goal. Saad’s awareness of the Falcon goaltender Migael Rosales's poor positioning extended past midfield though, as Saad got the ball around midfield on a loose ball and quickly decided to shoot.
“It wasn’t really a shot, it was more of a long ball,” Saad said. “But it is pretty difficult with the wind and especially from that distance, whether to hit it straight or to put curve on it.”
After making all the necessary judgments, Saad’s strike was perfectly placed. Rosales attempted to tip the ball, but instead watched as the ball landed in the back of his net. Burns explained that Bowling Green’s mistake came in not preparing for a player who can typically make that long of a goal.
“It’s probably more of a scouting report mistake than anything,” Burns said. “They should’ve known that when Soony gets the ball, he might shoot from anywhere, even in his own half.”
Since Bowling Green (5-7-2) had been attacking, the defenders were pushed up the field and the goalie naturally had to move up with them to maintain communication. When Saad got the ball in that position, the goalie was in no-man's land and there was nothing he could do to stop the shot.
“Goalies tend to stay connected to their backs,” Burns explained of the goalie's positioning. "When play's up in the 18-yard box, your goalie is automatically going to be out."
In the end, making a goal like that comes down to Saad’s skill and awareness and the other team’s inability to plan for that situation.
It really is a goal that nobody saw or will see coming.