Senior tri-captain Joey D'Agostino scored the tying goal with just over eight minutes remaining in regulation as the Bowling Green State University men's soccer team battled the nationally-ranked University of Michigan to a 1-1 draw Monday night (Sept. 2). The double-overtime match was held at Cochrane Field on the BGSU campus.
The result leaves both teams with 1-0-1 records on the young season.
The Wolverines had taken the lead late in the first half, on a goal by Fabio Pereira. Only 22 seconds after that goal, however, U-M's Tyler Arnone was given a straight red card, leaving the visitors a man down for the remainder of the match.
Senior Michael Wiest made seven saves in goal for the Falcons, while Adam Grinwis had four stops for the Wolverines.
In front of a crowd in excess of 2,200 at Cochrane Field, the Falcons took the first four shot attempts of the match, holding the Wolverines without a shot for the first 23-plus minutes of the opening half.
Eight minutes into the match, BGSU junior Danny Baraldi picked the pocket of the last U-M defender. Baraldi couldn't quite get possession of the ball in time to head in on a breakaway, however.
Approximately 16 minutes into the contest, senior Anthony Grant fired a hard shot from the right side, forcing Grinwis to go to the ground to knock the ball out of bounds.
Several moments later, Baraldi began a sequence which also saw senior Ryan Snashall and sophomore Ryan James involved in the buildup. James got the ball to Grant, but a U-M defender poked the ball off Grant's foot at the top of the box. It rolled to the onrushing D'Agostino, but his bullet of a shot sailed over the goal.
Michigan's first shot came with 23:29 gone, as Pereira hit a shot from the top of the box that was smothered by Wiest on the short hop.
Pereira, who led all players with five shot attempts on the night, got his team on the scoreboard late in the period. The play began when Colin McAtee hit a left-to-right cross into the box. Ezekiel Harris headed the ball back across the box, where James Murphy and a BG defender each lunged toward the ball. Harris's header hit off of a body part and caromed toward Pereira, who one-timed a shot into the right side of the net. With 3:50 left in the half, the visitors had a 1-0 lead.
The goal was the first allowed by Wiest against Michigan in his BGSU career.
Just 22 seconds after that goal, however, Michigan suddenly was a man down. Arnone was issued a red card with 3:28 left before halftime, and U-M played with 10 men the rest of the way.
The Falcons had the first few chances of the second half, but could not equalize. In the first minute of play, a Baraldi cross was just out of Grant's reach in the box. Less than five minutes into the half, Baraldi slid a free kick to his right, where it found senior Matt Griesinger. Griesinger made a run toward the 18-yard box, cut to his left and fired a shot, but it was right at Grinwis.
Just one minute later, Snashall made a long run into the penalty area, but was knocked off the ball by a pair of U-M defenders.
The Falcons had a flurry as the match neared the hour mark. D'Agostino's pass found Grant, who in turn found James on the right side of the penalty area. James ripped a shot from near the end line, but Grinwis parried the shot away. Griesinger tracked the ball down and slotted a pass to Grant. Grant laid the ball off to the onrushing Snashall, but his shot was blocked by a U-M backliner.
BG continued to press forward, and not long after the Snashall shot, sophomore Jake Genrich hit a diagonal ball into the box. But, Grinwis came off his line to grab the ball a split second before Snashall arrived.
Midway through the half, James received a bouncing ball at the top of the box. He was momentarily able to elude a host of Wolverines as he tried to control the ball. Finally, however, one of the defenders was able to knock the ball away from the BG sophomore.
With just over 11 minutes left in regulation, the Wolverines were whistled for a foul, and Baraldi hit a dangerous-looking diagonal ball toward the far post. Somehow, the ball went through a maze of players -- at least six players from each team -- and out of bounds for a goal kick.
Just nine minutes were left when Grant deked a would-be defender near midfield to find some space along the right sideline. The senior played a through ball intended for classmate Ryan Comiskey, but it was slightly out of Comiskey's reach, and Grinwis reached it first. Soon afterward, however, the Falcons would break through.
With just over eight minutes to go, senior tri-captain Brandon Silva got the ball in the penalty area and hit a shot toward net. The ball was blocked, but Comiskey knocked it in the direction of the charging D'Agostino. The Livonia, Mich., native, volleyed it into the net to tie the score with just 8:07 remaining.
U-M responded to the BG goal with a dangerous chance at the other end. The Wolverines won a corner kick, and Pereira's kick found the head of Malcolm Miller at the far post. His shot was on target, but Wiest slid over to make the save of the point-blank effort.
Just over four minutes remained in regulation when McAtee hit a scorcher. Wiest, however, was able to tip the hard shot over the bar with a leaping effort. On the ensuing corner kick, this time taken by Rylee Woods, Miller headed a shot just over the crossbar.
With a minute and a half to go, James and freshman Joe Sullivan just missed connections on a play that would have put Sullivan into the box all along. Less than 30 seconds later, Schewee's diagonal ball was redirected into the goal by Grant, but the alternate referee's flag was up, indicating offside against the Falcons as the clock ticked under one minute. That minute passed relatively uneventfully, compared to the previous 89, and the teams went to overtime.
The first overtime saw each team take two shots. Michigan had a chance after a BG giveaway. Pereira found himself in possession of the ball, and quickly fired a shot from distance. But, the ball was off target as Wiest scrambled to get back into position.
Wiest made a save on Lars Eckenrode at the far post after a corner kick with two and a half minutes to go. Then, the Falcons had two shot attempts in the final seconds of the period. A Sullivan shot was blocked, but the rebound came to Schewee, who hit a low shot that Grinwis was able to grab just before the horn sounded.
In the second overtime, Grant had a shot blocked out of bounds for a corner kick, and Grinwis was able to punch that corner kick away. The final chance of the match was Pereira's hard free kick punched out of bounds by Wiest, but BG successfully dealt with the ensuing corner kick, and the final 30 seconds ticked away.
BGSU had a 17-15 edge in shots, but U-M put eight shots on goal to the Falcons' five. The home team had a narrow 5-4 advantage in corner kicks.
The Falcons now prepare for a trip to Milwaukee, Wis., for the Panther Invitational. BG will play another nationally-ranked team, Marquette, on Friday (Sept. 6) before facing host Milwaukee Sunday afternoon (Sept. 8).