Northwestern Men’s Soccer vs. Michigan Recap
By Emily Fosker and Taylor Hancock
The No. 4 seed Northwestern Wildcats (10-4-3, 4-3-1 Big Ten) welcomed the No. 5 seed Michigan Wolverines (5-5-7, 2-1-5 Big Ten) to Lanny and Sharon Martin Stadium on Friday night in the Big Ten Tournament Quarterfinal. The ‘Cats suffered defeat to the Wolverines twice in one week with a 3-0 loss to Michigan last Sunday and a tough 1-0 loss on Friday.
In what would be their final game of the season, the ‘Cats had two first-years on the starting lineup with defender Fritz Volmar and midfielder Tyler Glassbery both showing many strengths throughout the first half. At the 17th minute, Glassbery was able to get around Michigan’s defense to shoot on goal but was immediately tackled. Just five minutes later, forward Ugo Achara Jr. took another shot that was caught by the Wolverines goalkeeper. As the first half went on, both teams went back and forth with missed goal opportunities.
The Wildcats outshot Michigan 16-6, but the game remained scoreless through the first half. The ‘Cats dominated possession of the ball but were unable to execute in the final third, and Michigan goalkeeper Isaiah Goldson was able to keep the ‘Cats off the scoresheet. The ‘Cats lack of scoring was equalized by sophomore Nigel Prince’s rock solid defense that hindered Michigan. Northwestern attempted eight shots in the first half in comparison to one for the Wolverines.
Once the second half commenced, the run of play was all Northwestern. Many times, the ‘Cats went on quick runs to the goal, but Michigan’s defense was right there with them. With almost forty minutes left in the game, fans witnessed a somber scene as forward Christopher Thaggard was badly injured. After the injury, the ‘Cats could not gain the momentum for a successful shot. Michigan’s winning goal came at the 71st minute, forcing Northwestern to try everything they could to force overtime. However, with so little time, the ‘Cats could not pull through, despite tallying 10 more shots than the Wolverines by the close of the match.
During the final minute of the game, midfielder Collin McCamy controlled the ball, and it was then passed downfield before a questionable call determined the final score. Northwestern players and coaching staff called for referees to review the play for a handball which would’ve allowed Northwestern a free kick. Referees refused to review the play, putting the final 30 seconds on the ‘Cats to score. The game ended with a very close shot, but it was missed by Volmar.
Despite registering five shots on goal, the ‘Cats’ season came to a close as they fell in a hard fought game to the Wolverines. Michigan will face No. 1 seeded Indiana on Wednesday in Bloomington for the Big Ten Tournament Semifinal match.