After dropping its home opener to Columbia, the Michigan men’s soccer team (0-1-2) returned to its home stadium looking for its first win of the season. But after a whirlwind game filled with momentum changes, neither the Wolverines nor the Bulldogs prevailed in overtime, and Michigan ended up with another 2-2 tie.
The Wolverines dominated the first 35 minutes of the half, limiting Yale’s possession. But they couldn’t find the back of the net, and the half ended in a scoreless tie.
The Bulldogs, meanwhile, had trouble even creating offensive chances, with pressure coming from Michigan’s veteran defense whose four starters have amassed 162 career starts.
“We’re a team that once we get a couple chances, we start to build our confidence after that,” said senior forward Yamann Sahlool. “The more chances we got, the more we got to try more things and be more dangerous.”
During the first half, Michigan fired off five shots, two on goal, while Yale managed only four shots, but three were on goal.
With leading shot taker and freshman forward Jack Hallahan absent from Michigan’s starting lineup, the Wolverines had no leading goal scorer, translating into the lack of shots.
But the second half would be defined by the holes in Michigan’s defense and the Bulldogs’ ability to take advantage of their limited chances.
“We carried the whole game,” said Michigan coach Chaka Daley. “They didn’t really have anything to offer. Some set-piece issues were only the difference.”
The second half looked completely dissimilar to the first as it began with the Bulldogs converting a chance off of a Michigan foul. With a slow lobbed cross from the 30-yard mark, Yale defender Ollie Iselin poked the ball into the net out of a scrum.
Michigan reversed the momentum with back-to-back unanswered goals. The first was from last year’s Big Ten Freshman of the Year, Francis Atuahene, who buried the ball right under the goalkeeper’s arm.
Just two minutes later, the second Wolverine goal came from Sahlool, who dangled three defenders and pushed the ball to the bottom left corner to give the Wolverines a 2-1 lead.
With 12 minutes left in the game, the momentum shifted again as Yale equalized with a similar goal to its first. On a lobbed ball off of a set piece, a Bulldog attacker poked the ball past diving junior goalkeeper Evan Louro to tie the game, 2-2.
The Wolverines dominated the first half of overtime, controlling almost all of the possession, but they were again unable to score due to some critical offside calls. The second overtime period looked much like the first, with neither team generating many chances.
“Honestly, it’s confidence at this point,” said sophomore midfielder Marcello Borges. “Once we get one or two wins, we’ll get things going again.”
Michigan goes on the road to Wisconsin on Friday for its first conference game, where it will look to push for more scoring opportunities.