It only took six minutes before the Indiana men’s soccer team trailed against Michigan.
But like the Hoosiers have done once before, it overcame the early goal to comeback and win.
After trailing early, No. 8 IU responded with three unanswered goals in the second half to defeat Michigan 3-1 in Ann Arbor, Mich.
”Great result today,” IU head coach Todd Yeagley said. “After a poor first half, the response was incredible. The second half was much more like the standards that we’re used to.”
The only other time IU (10-2-3, 3-2-1 Big Ten) trailed in a game all season was against then-No. 8 Saint Louis on Oct. 1, when senior forward Robert Kristo scored just 14 seconds into the match. The player responsible for the Hoosiers trailing a second time was Wolverines freshman forward Ahinga Selemani, who found the back of the net in the sixth minute.
While it didn’t take long for Michigan (4-7-3, 2-2-2 Big Ten) to get its offense going, the same could not be said for IU. It wasn’t until the 25th minute that the Hoosiers recorded their first shot attempt.
”It was a tough day with the conditions, a little slippery,” Yeagley said. “I thought we were tentative in the first half. Again, you’ve got to get in the attacking half against this team and try to take the conditions out of it.”
Freshman defender Grant Lillard channeled his inner Kristo, scoring 30 seconds into the second half off a long throw-in from redshirt senior midfielder Jamie Vollmer to tie the match at one. It was Lillard’s third of the season..
Junior forward Andrew Oliver also benefitted from a long throw-in by Vollmer, as Oliver’s initial shot attempt off the throw-in was saved but then knocked back in by Oliver for the Hoosiers’ second goal.
Sophomore midfielder Tanner Thompson completed IU’s comeback with a strike that bounced off the far post and into the goal in the 72nd minute. It was Thompson’s fourth goal of the season.
“We played very well and really smart, and scored some really nice goals,” Yeagley said. “Our restart was certainly a weapon. Tanner’s goal was the icing today.”
The second half favored the Hoosiers, who outshot the Wolverines 13-2 in that period and finished with a 16-11 shot advantage.
”I thought, tactically, the guys played much more intelligent in the second half,” Yeagley said.
As a result of the victory, IU earned three points and moved to fourth in the conference standings.
”The response from this group was outstanding, and we didn’t have to say much at half,” Yeagley said. “This group was already talking. To get this important three points on the road against a very good Michigan team, this team is much better than that record indicates. We’re leaving here pleased and getting ready for our next one."