The Ohio State men’s soccer team was cornered by Michigan Wednesday.
Ohio State (5-3-1, 0-2-1 Big Ten) allowed Michigan (4-2-3, 1-0-2) to score the game’s only two goals off corner kicks in a 2-0 loss. The Buckeyes tallied more total shots will 11 and more shots on goal with four, but failed to force ball to meet net.
“Sometimes it’s a cruel game like that, senior midfielder Jack Holland said. “We were all over them. We had a lot of chances and we had a ton of energy off the bench. Sometimes you lose focus on a play like a set piece and that’s what happens.”
In what proved enough for a victory, Michigan junior midfielder Marc Ybarra kicked a corner in to freshman forward Christian Pulselli, who dusted off the pass for a 57th-minute score that put the Wolverines ahead 1-0.
Michigan increased its advantage on another Ybarra corner, this time finished in the box by junior defender Jackson Ragen, placing the game out of reach at 2-0 in the 80th minute.
“To give up two set-piece goals was disappointing. On defense right now we are missing those details,” head coach Brian Maisonneuve said.
Michigan senior goalkeeper Andrew Verdi shut Ohio State out, but not for a complete lack of chances.
His quick reactions allowed him to save a close-range strike from Holland in the 11th minute, one of four saves he made against the Buckeye attack.
In the 62nd minute, when a corner appeared threatening, Verdi snatched it from the air before the Ohio State forwards could make a play on the ball.
While Michigan converted two of its nine corners into goals, Ohio State struggled on its set pieces. The Buckeyes finished 0-for-6 converting their own corner kicks and couldn’t produce a shot off a free kick opportunity just outside the box in the 30th minute.
After Ohio State closed the first half with two shots — one of them on goal — in the final minute, but the game entered halftime scoreless and Michigan came out the second half and kept the ball in Buckeye territory for much of the second 45 minutes.
“We have to start the second half better,” Maisonneuve said. “The territory battle the past couple of games, we have not been the better team in regards to territory in the second half.”
In spite of this difference, the Buckeyes outshot Michigan 11-8, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the Wolverines.
The Buckeyes’ next opportunity at their first Big Ten win will be at Rutgers on Sunday at 11 a.m.