Men’s soccer plays to a draw

Game Analysis


On a night when many sports fans in the area were watching the Detroit Tigers in the hope that they would inch one game closer to securing a playoff bid, Oakland University’s men’s soccer team took on the University of Michigan Wednesday night in a game that could have challenged the electricity that was in the air down at Comerica Park.

The stands were overflowing. The people who filled them were nearly as anxious as the players on the field. The atmosphere was sensational. And yet neither team was able to pull away victorious as the game finished in a scoreless tie.

The Ultimate Soccer Arena in Pontiac played host to the event and their staff was forced to play the role of crowd control for the first time this season. Fans of both sides overcrowded the stands and spilled into any space available to get a glimpse of the action.

Despite the lack of scoring, the two teams did not fail to provide the spectators a full game of action. Both teams played with intensity and purpose.

OU’s goalkeeper Mitch Hildebrandt truly earned his second consecutive shutout. Michigan outshot Oakland 31 to 13 and had Hildebrandt diving and stretching his way to 14 total saves.

With ten minutes remaining in the first half, Michigan’s Hamoody Saad one-timed a shot from right outside the 18-yard box that looked like it had a real chance of going in until Hildebrandt deflected the shot over with one-hand.

The second half saw Michigan put some real pressure on Oakland’s defense, but the Grizzlies never wavered and kept Michigan’s quick forwards and midfield at bay.

In the last minute of the second overtime Michigan got a clean header off of a corner that also looked like it had a real chance of going in until Hildebrandt jumped on it.

Oakland’s defense deserves much credit in the game as well as they held 2008 National Junior College Player of the year Justin Meram and the rest of Michigan’s talented offense scoreless and without very many quality chances.

OU will next take on Centenary College next in an away conference game in Louisiana. The tie moves Oakland’s record to 4-3-2.