History will look back at the 2017 Michigan men’s soccer team as having won the program’s first Big Ten championship and qualifying for the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2012.
Great accomplishments, indeed. Yes, there is a but coming.
BUT the Wolverines can’t be happy with the way such an amazing season ended.
Only one team ends the season the way it wants it to end but others find satisfaction with an overall view of the big picture. Michigan’s big picture doesn’t come down to one game, but it would have been such a nicer view had the maize and blue won that one game.
The Wolverines’ season came to a crushing end on Sunday in a 3-2 loss to Colgate in a second-round NCAA Tournament game. What’s really “crushing” is that this game was at home, it was Michigan’s first NCAA game (they drew a bye in the first round) and the 16th seeded Wolverines lost to an unseeded team.
Heck, Princeton knocked out North Carolina on the women’s side so anything can happen in college soccer. But Colgate came in with a 12-10-1 record. They finished sixth in the Patriot League with a .500 record before winning the league tournament to earn a postseason spot.
The word juggernaut has never been used to describe the Colgate men’s soccer team. For comparison, our friends in East Lansing beat Virginia Tech – a .500 team – 3-0 on Sunday to move on to the second round.
And get this? Loyola Maryland is the highest ranked Patriot League team in the D-1 NCAA rankings at No. 59. The Big Ten has five teams in the top 25, including Michigan at No. 15.
The game started out how it should have started out. Jack Hallahan – part of that big picture/bright future view – scored two goals in the first 10 minutes to give the hosts a 2-0 lead. But Colgate tied the game by halftime and then scored the game-winner at the 87:23 mark.
So losing at home to Colgate is going to take some time to get over before the Wolverines double back for a look at the big picture.