BOWLING GREEN – As the rain came and left Mickey Cochrane Field yesterday, so did Bowling Green’s chances of beating the Michigan men’s soccer team. In the second half of the Wolverines’ 6-1 victory over the Falcons, junior Mychal Turpin put on a show.
Turpin scored four goals in a 21-minute span, becoming the first player in Big Ten history to record two four-goal games in a career. Turpin did it in two weeks.
Turpin’s record-setting day was highlighted by his second goal. Junior Knox Cameron placed the ball at Turpin’s feet, and Turpin, in the blink of an eye, stepped over the ball with his left foot and knocked it through the net with the inside of his right foot. It looked like a no-look behind-the-back pass in basketball, only much more sweeter.
Turpin’s first goal of the game came on a breakaway. For the last few seconds, it was just he and opposing goalkeeper David Degraff. Degraff dove at Turpin’s feet in desperation, and Turpin, calmly and cooly, lept over Degraff before giving the ball one last push into the net.
When asked if he was happy with his play, Turpin modestly replied: “Mostly, in the first half I didn’t play that strong but in the second half I came in and played pretty well.”
Before the Wolverines second-half outburst, the game was competitive. Senior tri-captain Mike White opened the scoring just 19:23 into the first half with a goal assisted by sophomore Adam Bruh. That marked the only goal of an intense first half. Coach Steve Burns noted that the early score may have diminished the Wolverines’ aggressiveness for the remainder of the half. “After we scored our first goal, there was a huge sense of relief,” Burns said.
“We thought we were the better team, we stopped playing with urgency.”
Burns made a point at halftime to let his players know that Bowling Green was a worthy opponent, and that the team needed to stay focused on doing what it needed to do to win the game.
“At halftime, we said this game is far from over,” Burns said.
Burns was pleased with the team’s performance in the second half, noting that the players accomplished some of the things they have been working to improve upon.
“We wanted to make sure that defensively we stayed very tight, and offensively, we got more movement out of our front three forwards,” Burns said.
Senior Kevin Taylor blasted a penalty kick into the net to extend the Wolverine lead to 4-1, after Turpin was taken down by a Falcon defender in the penalty box. Turpin followed Taylor with his third goal. This one was spurred by a lead pass from freshman Michael O’Reilly, who sent the ball sailing down the sideline to where only Turpin could get to it. Turpin finished off his incredible game at the 88:13 mark with a goal assisted by White.
The Wolverines do not have much time to celebrate. They travel to Oakland University tomorrow to face the 12th -Grizzlies.
“We’re going to stay real level-headed because Tuesday is the biggest game on our schedule,” Burns said.