Even before kickoff, the Michigan men’s soccer team looked bigger and faster than Detroit Mercy. The physical supremacy carried over into the match, where the Wolverines controlled the Titans for much of the 90 minutes, winning, 5-0.
With the game tied at zero, Michigan (9-2-1 overall, 3-1-1 Big Ten) was firmly in control, as it dominated possession with precision passing, while Detroit Mercy (1-11-2 overall, 0-5-1 Horizon) had trouble linking up more than three passes at a time. Then the Wolverines took the lead in the 38th minute, as senior defender Marcello Borgesdrew a penalty after his cross into the box was blocked by a Titan defender‘s arm.
To break the tie, sophomore midfielder Marc Ybarra lined up the ensuing penalty, as light rain came down on the players. With calm nerves, Ybarra sank the penalty kick into the right corner. The Titan keeper dove the wrong way and never had a chance at the save.
Up 1-0, the Wolverines never looked back, as they sank four more goals in the remaining 50 minutes.
“I think we got ourselves in good advanced positions and then we got in advanced positions in the wide areas as well,” said Michigan coach Chaka Daley. “I think the service caused them problems and we didn’t go to it enough and we finally got to go to it late in the half and when we did: handball, PK.”
Michigan played a very physical game after the penalty, as the Titans began to man-mark after that. That opened up holes in the Detroit Mercy defense as the Wolverines’ passing pulled the Titans out of position and opened holes for Michigan to attack and advance its postion.
The second goal quickly followed the first after a cross into the box fell to freshman forward Sosa Emovon. He slotted a pass to sophomore forward Umar Farouk Osman, who was waiting right outside the five-yard box in between two Detroit Mercy defenders. Osman rocketed the ball into the left corner giving the keeper no time to react.
The second half brought three more goals, and two more goalies for the Titans. After a breakaway goal by senior forward Noah Kleedtke and a corner kick headed in by sophomore defensemen Jackson Ragen, junior forward Jack Hallahan scored to go along with his two assists, calmly dribbling around Detroit Mercy‘s third goalie of the night and chipping the ball into the net.
With five games remaining before the Big Ten Tournament, it is key for the Wolverines to get these confidence-boosting wins.
“We’re only guaranteed ten hours, I told those guys today,” Daley said. “We’re only guaranteed ten hours of soccer, so let‘s make the most of it and I think they did tonight.”