In an already unforgettable season for the Michigan Wolverines men’s lacrosse team, another milestone has been reached — the program’s first NCAA Tournament victory.
In a stunning upset of the defending national runners-up Cornell, the Wolverines stuck around long enough to force overtime, where grad transfer and Ann Arbor native Peter Thompson scored the golden goal that sent the Big Red packing on their home field.
Things got off to a rocky start for Michigan, as Cornell rapidly scored three unanswered goals in four minutes to take an early 3-1 lead. After scoring a second goal in the seventh minute, the Wolverines and Big Red wrestled the lead back and forth in the final two minutes of the first quarter, with Michigan scoring the final goal of the quarter to knot things up at four.
The Wolverines took control of both the second and third quarters — outscoring Cornell 3-2 in the second and 2-1 in the third for an ultimate 9-7 score line headed into the fourth — before the Big Red struck back in a huge way with the game on the line.
With a whopping 12 goals scored between the two teams in the final period, the Wolverines looked poised to win the game in regulars with a goal by Michael Boem with 1:49 left, but Cornell was able to sneak one past goalkeeper Hunter Taylor with less than a minute to go.
In the four-minute overtime period, both squads had great shots be just saved. Ultimately, the Big Red blinked first, as Thompson was able to slip one past Cornell goalkeeper Chase Ierlan at the 2:40 mark that sealed a victory.
Following his heroic performance, Thompson emphasized his maize and blue roots in a postgame interview with ESPNU.
“Being an Ann Arbor kid, I was born at UofM Hospital, I’ve only ever lived in Ann Arbor growing up, it means so much to me,” Thompson said. “I grew up going to football games, basketball games, you name it with my family, and it’s so special to have them here. Michigan gave me a chance, and I’m just so grateful because this means so much to me.”
The Wolverines advance to play No. 1 Duke this Saturday at 2:30 p.m. The game will air on ESPNU.