Badgers upend rival Golden Eagles, 1-0

first_imgThe University of Wisconsin men’s soccer team was looking to return to its winning ways Thursday after dropping two straight games to Gonzaga and Penn State last weekend.Playing their first home game since Sept. 8, the Badgers took on in-state rival Marquette in the heated battle of I-94. Head coach John Trask had yet to beat Marquette in his four years with the program, while Marquette has been unable to win in the state’s capital since a cold fall evening in 1999.The results ended in Trask and his Badgers’ favor as they fought to a 1-0 result against the Golden Eagles and their explosive offense.Wisconsin came out of the gates swinging. In just the fifth minute the Badgers had a great chance to pull ahead early as a cross met senior forward Toni Ramadani at the back post. However, Ramadani’s header went just wide of the net, sending a warning to the Marquette defense that this would be a long night. The Badgers continued the attack as a corner kick pinged around the box before the Golden Eagles were eventually able to clear the ball out of the 18-yard box.The attacks continued throughout the half with Marquette getting a few chances for themselves. As time was winding down, senior defender Paul Yonga made a move to get an open shot at Marquette goalkeeper Charlie Lyon; however, the shot pulled right, away from the goal as the first half came to a close.After continual attacks the Badgers found what they were looking for with 20 minutes to spare. After a strong defensive stand, senior forward Chris Prince found himself with the ball on the right side of the field. A cross to the back post connected with senior forward Nick Janus’s head for his fifth goal of the year and what would be the game-winner.“I don’t know if [Prince] could have played it any better,” Janus said. “ He had a heck of a night controlling that right side and I am glad I could get him that assist because he worked his butt off today.”Wisconsin was able to hold on for the remainder of the second half to clinch its first win over Marquette in the Trask era. The win prompted a fist pump from the usually calm and collected coach as time expired.Trask was not the only one ecstatic with the win over their in-state rivals.“It felt good to finally beat them,” Janus said with a slight chuckle. “I had them circled on the schedule. It was my first win against them, and after the heartbreaker last year, the win was just huge.”The biggest question for the Badgers coming into the game was how they would control the middle without senior midfielder Tomislav Zadro. With Zadro recovering from meniscus surgery, sophomore forward Drew Conner was forced into the role of play-maker for the Badger offense. Trask called Conner’s performance “brilliant.” The sophomore was able to control the center of the field and set up plays on offense for the Badgers, helping them keep the pressure on the Golden Eagles defense.“Center midfield has always been my position,” Conner said. “But playing this year has given me a chance to really show my creativity, and I am lucky enough to have some incredible players around me to help out.”Even with his team surrounding him, Conner put up a fantastic performance against one of the nation’s top midfielders in Bryan Ciesiulka, an all-American from last year.“He is playing a man’s game out there,” Trask said of Conner. “If [Bryan] Ciesiulka, who is a fantastic player, is an all-American, where does Drew Conner factor into the national picture? Because our number seven was the dominant performer in the middle of the field tonight.”Wisconsin’s ability to shut down Marquette’s powerful offense allowed the Badgers to dominate possession and the game. The Badger defense did a particularly good job of shutting down Marquette scoring machine C. Nortey, who has netted a team-high four goals this year.“I think the work David Caban did on C. Nortey was some of the best work I have seen for a long time,” Trask said. “It was a great matchup, but there is no doubt Caban won in a land slide.”last_img

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