In the first minute of the second overtime period, Michigan turned the ball over near the half-pitch line, and Indiana forward Ryan Wittenbrink scooped up the ball. The forward rapidly carried the ball up the pitch with multiple Wolverine defenders running with him stride-for-stride. Reaching the edge of the penalty box, Wittenbrink took a sharp right turn and lofted in a looping curler that froze sophomore goalkeeper Owen Finnerty as it curved into the right side of the net.
The stadium fell silent as No. 7 Indiana (7-1-0 Big Ten) dogpiled in celebration of their 1-0 double-overtime win over No. 11 Michigan (4-2-1 Big Ten).
While the Hoosiers would score the only goal of the game, the Wolverines certainly didn’t lack scoring opportunities themselves. In the 26th minute, junior midfielder Kevin Buca forced a turnover off a Michigan high-press. In a fast-break counter-attacking opportunity, Buca quickly carried the ball 15 yards up to the penalty spot and used a skillful fake shot to draw the Hoosiers’ defensemen in, leaving sophomore midfielder Iñaki Rodriguez on a wide-open run toward the net. Buca sent a quick ground pass over to Rodriguez, who received the ball in stride and fired toward the goal, only to have it shut down by the keeper.
“(We must) keep growing and getting better, (and) understand how clinical we need to be in front of goal,” Michigan coach Chaka Daley said.
Although the first half was characterized by Michigan’s dominance of possession and shots, the teams went into the halftime break tied at zero.
The Wolverines opened up the second half with continued energy and intensity, holding possession of the ball and creating good chances, yet to no avail. In the 49th minute, Hoosier goalkeeper Roman Celentano stopped a low-driven shot from freshman forward Bryce Blevins near the left side of the penalty box. Four minutes later, Michigan missed another solid opportunity to score, as senior defender Jackson Ragen’s header almost found the back of the net.
Indiana’s first threatening moment came in the 60th minute when forward Herbert Endeley streaked up the right side of the pitch and crossed the ball to unmarked forward Victor Bezerra. Bezerra sent a close-ranged powerful shot toward the Michigan net, but sophomore goalkeeper Owen Finnerty dove to his left, using extended arms to pop the ball away.
Michigan controlled the ball and held the momentum for the last 30 minutes of regular time. Regardless, it couldn’t find the back of the net.
After a short break, the Wolverines came out hot in the first overtime period. In the 97th minute, Michigan sophomore midfielder Moshtaba Al-Hasnawi carried the ball to the right side of Indiana’s penalty area in pursuit of the golden goal. Al-Haswani’s attack drew ample attention from the Hoosier back line, leaving junior midfielder Cameron Martin unmarked near the penalty spot.
Al-Haswani zipped the ball over to Martin, who took one touch and fired a shot toward the Indiana net. But Celentano made a crucial save from close range, keeping the Wolverines off the score sheet. Michigan finished the first overtime period with three additional shots compared to Indiana.
“(We) got to get better on closing games out and putting teams away because, in the end, we did enough to put them away,” Daley said. “(Indiana) got their chance, while it was a fortunate opportunity, they still took it. We’re disappointed we didn’t get more out of the game because we feel they shouldn’t have gotten anything.”
The Wolverines finished the match holding a 6-3 lead in shots on goal, as well as possessing the ball for 56% of the game. But in the end, the inability to convert on its ample goal-scoring opportunities killed its chances of upsetting Indiana and crushed their hopes of finishing the season as Big Ten regular-season champions.
“We carried every phase of the game today,” Daley said. “We had more chances and more quality chances. … We were unfortunate.”