Men’s soccer falls to Michigan on two buzzer-beater goals


Ayman Ishimwe

Kieran Hayes leads the ball downfield during Sunday’s home game against University of Michigan.

The Oakland University men’s soccer team fell to the Michigan Wolverines in heartbreaking fashion on Sunday afternoon at the Oakland Soccer Field. 

Right from the get-go, the story was the weather. Temperatures hung around 90 degrees for the duration of the game, with winds steady between 10-15 mph.   

Due to the heat, water breaks were taken about halfway through both halves. Head Coach Eric Pogue said the wind “made the heat bearable.”

“[It’s important to note] that it’s hot for both teams,” Pogue said. “But after we got to about the 80th minute it started to die down a little bit. So that, [combined with the travel after Thursday night’s game], started to take a toll on us for sure.”

It was a very quiet first 15 minutes. Neither team took a shot until Dylan Borczak scored unassisted in the 16th minute to give the Golden Grizzlies a 1-0 lead. 

Oakland’s defense got off to a hot start — while Michigan didn’t take their first shot until the 22nd minute. 

Things got a bit chippy in the 28th minute, when Oakland forward Mikey Ketteman received a yellow card for unsportsmanlike conduct. The Golden Grizzlies had three yellow cards in total to Michigan’s one.

Just when it looked like the Grizzlies were going to enter the half with the lead, Michigan’s Quin Rogers scored with three seconds left in the half to tie the game at 1.  

The game stayed a defensive battle into the 75th minute. Shots were few and far between. 

The Wolverines started turning up the pressure late in the game — they had a few shots that missed just wide to the right. That pressure wasn’t enough, though, as the game was still tied at one apiece by the end of regulation. 

The first overtime period was dominated by Michigan. The Golden Grizzlies were backed up in their own end for the majority of the period. However, they were able to hold the Wolverines out of the scoring column to push the game to a second and final overtime period. 

The game came down to an unbelievable finish. With about five seconds left, Michigan rebounded a corner kick, and after a couple misses, midfielder Mark Ybarra scored with one second left to clinch the 2-1 victory. 

Pogue said he was “left a bit speechless” after losing on two buzzer-beater goals.

“To have it happen at the end of the half is one thing, but to have it happen at the end of overtime — that’s a backbreaker,” Pogue said. “We [have to] pick our heads up, though. It’s better this happens to us now than when it matters most come league or tournament time. We obviously have to finish out halves and games a little bit better.”

Despite the loss, Pogue said he was pleased with his team’s overall performance.

“I thought we had some chances to put the game away and we didn’t do that. They also had chances to put the game away as well, so I thought it was kind of an evenly matched game [possession-wise],” he said. “I thought [in] the second half we had some good stretches.”

The men’s soccer team’s next game will be at Michigan State on Friday, Sept. 3 in East Lansing.