Eight minutes in, disaster struck for the Wolverines. They’d fight. They’d keep their composure. But they’d never recover.
In that pivotal eighth minute of the Michigan men’s soccer team’s match at University of Nebraska-Omaha Friday, Maverick forward Aaron Uribe hit a header over senior goalkeeper Andrew Verdi. The shot set the Wolverines back a goal early, gave Omaha momentum and furthered a tense environment for Michigan in their first road game of the season.
The Wolverines dominated the Maverick throughout the rest of the match — in possession, in shots on goal, in corner kicks and in general flow of play. But that control didn’t translate to goals, and the Wolverines (2-2-1) drew Omaha (0-3-2), 1-1, in a gritty battle that ended with two overtime periods.
“We need to do a little bit on game management and giving our team a chance to win and not have to chase the game so early,” said Michigan coach Chaka Daley. “It’s not good to be down.”
From the first whistle, the Wolverines led Omaha in shots on goal — ultimately taking 25 to the Maverick’s nine. The gap between shots on goal and the score indicates issues closing out opportunities in the final third of the field.
“I don’t think we were at our best,” Daley said. “We had some good stuff from time to time throughout the game, but we carried possession to a ridiculous amount and carried chances, so I was a little disappointed one wouldn’t sneak in for us.”
But only one did. In the 74th minute, senior forward Jack Hallahan beat a defender on the right wing and served a cross in the penalty box to sophomore forward Derick Broche, who headed the ball into the net.
The game-tying goal came in the midst of a chippy game, with yellow cards plauging each roster — including four for the Wolverines.
In the 72nd minute, an Maverick player fouled a Wolverine, and multiple other players stepped to his defense. To ease tensions, the referee issued yellow cards to players on both teams.
But Daley insists the physicality of the game was typical. In fact, he says, it showed Michigan’s frustration with their plethora of missed chances.
“It was just both teams competing,” Daley said. “The guys were just looking after each other. With the amount of possession we had, it was definitely unfortunate, but we’ll get back to the drawing board, get some recovery and get ready for Tuesday.”