Twenty-five shots, one overtime, one golden goal, and one magnified loss – that was the action-packed story of the Michigan men’s soccer game on Wednesday.
Indiana (3-4 Big Ten, 7-11-1 overall) likely ended the Wolverines’ season in a hard-fought 2-1 victory, advancing to the second round of the Big Ten tournament. The victory came nearly a month after Michigan beat Indiana, 2-1, at U-M Soccer Stadium.
Michigan started the game well, as senior defender Ezekiel Harris netted a goal in the 10th minute, but after that, Indiana outshot the Wolverines considerably. Redshirt junior goalkeeper Adam Grinwis played stoutly in net, nonetheless, keeping his team in the game early on while turning away all four shots on net in the first half.
“Adam came up with a couple good saves to keep us ahead,” said Michigan coach Chaka Daley. “But saves that we expect him to make so they weren’t out of the ordinary.”
The Wolverines (3-4, 8-7-3) banded together soon after, displaying a sound focus on not letting the Hoosiers back into the game. Senior forward Fabio Pereira led the charge, firing a shot off the post just before the conclusion of the first half.
Michigan’s explosive offensive charge picked up right where it left off to begin the second half. The team recorded three shots, though all either missed the net or were blocked, during the first 18 minutes.
But just when things were going well for the Wolverines, Indiana midfielder A.J. Corrado scored his third goal of the season in the 62nd minute off a failed clearance.
Nevertheless, Michigan’s attackers would not let the team get down after conceding the lead. The Wolverines had four shots, all of which were on goal, over the next 17 minutes of the game. Freshman defender Rylee Woods nearly put Michigan back on top in the 82nd minute, striking the ball just wide with his left foot from 25 yards out.
The Hoosiers made a late push to claim the first lead within the last nine minutes of regulation, but failed to do so despite getting off three shots in just six minutes. The game went to overtime.
Instead of taking its foot off of the brake like it did during the the first half, Indiana built on its resilient play to end regulation. All the Hoosiers needed was one solid scoring chance to keep their NCAA Tournament hopes alive, as midfielder Dylan Mares scored a mere five minutes into the extra period on the team’s first shot.
“It was two teams fighting for their lives, it’s an open game,” Daley said. “They found their chance and we didn’t. Pretty simple.”
With the loss, Michigan’s season may be over. The NCAA Tournament Selection Show on Monday is the team’s final chance.
“If we’re fortune enough to make it in the backdoor of the NCAA Tournament, it’ll be a new season so I think we’ll have great life and energy,” Daley said. “I think we had opportunities throughout the course of the year that wouldn’t have made the Big Ten Tournament everything.”