In the 83rd minute, Wisconsin midfielder Murat Calkap placed the ball next to the corner flag, ready to deliver the corner kick. With a short run up and a swing of the leg, the midfielder sent a looping cross into the middle of the goal box, linking up with the powerful strike on the forehead of Badger forward Henri Tophoven. With ample force, the ball went flying past the Wolverines’ sophomore goalkeeper, Owen Finnerty.
The corner served as the winning goal for Wisconsin (2-7-1 Big Ten), as they upset No. 11 Michigan (5-3-1 Big Ten) by a score of 3-2.
“When we got to the first (crosses) we didn’t clear them well, so that’s something we do habitually,” Michigan coach Chaka Daley said. “I just think we got some unlucky bounces today. That’s not something we’ve ever really (dealt with). We haven’t conceded a set piece goal all year.”
Spectators were not deprived of exciting scoring opportunities during the first twenty minutes of the game. In the third minute, a deflected corner kick left a loose ball in the box for Wisconsin defender Moritz Kappelsberger. The defender put a close-ranged shot on net, but Finnerty dropped to a knee to stop the shot. Six minutes later, the Wolverines got a chance of their own, as sophomore midfielder Iñaki Rodriguez sent a header hurtling into the net, but Wisconsin goalkeeper Carter Abbott made the save with ease.
In the 17th minute, Badgers forward Noah Melick had an excellent opportunity to score on a breakaway, but Finnerty rushed off his line to sweep up the ball. Three minutes later, a foul in the Wisconsin penalty box sent senior midfielder Marc Ybarra to the penalty spot. He sent Abbott diving in the wrong direction and netted the penalty kick, giving Michigan an early 1-0 lead.
The next ten minutes were filled with offensive opportunities for the Wolverines, but they weren’t able to convert. Wisconsin eventually scored an equalizer in the 39th minute, as Badger defender Zach Klancnik zipped the ball into the corner of the goal. The score remained at 1-1 to conclude the first half.
In the 60th minute, junior forward Derick Broche picked up the ball at the midfield line and carried the ball up the right side of the pitch with pace, trailed by a chasing Wisconsin defender. Broche displayed a series of high stepovers to swerve past one defender and used a heavy left-footed touch to gain space from a second. In a close-ranged one-on-one situation, Broche chipped the ball over the right shoulder of Abbott, concluding his brilliant solo run with clinical finesse.
The Wolverines would carry their one goal lead up until the 74th minute, when Finnerty’s attempted corner kick clearance was unsuccessful, leaving the ball sitting in front of the net, providing an easy rebound finish for Melick.
Tophoven’s 83rd-minute header put the Badgers up 3-2, and the score concluded that way. All three of the Wisconsin goals came off of set-piece long passes. The final two were especially heartbreaking for Michigan, as the players watched their lead slip into a deficit during the final 15 minutes of play.
“To be hard done by deflections is difficult, but we also didn’t do enough to extend that lead or defend a little bit better on the first balls,” Daley said. “All of those (goals) are off of second balls and deflections. It was nothing creative or to carve us apart or to outplay us.”