Men’s soccer moves on over UWM, 1-0

first_imgThe year was 1995, stores opened at a reasonable time for black Friday, OJ was acquitted and the University of Wisconsin Men’s Soccer team won the National Championship with a 2-0 victory over Duke.That was the last time the Badgers made the NCAA tournament. However, 18 years later the Badgers continued their legacy in the tournament and beat Wisconsin-Milwaukee 1-0 in the first round of the NCAA playoffs.The win would extend the Badgers home unbeaten streak to 14 games, a streak that started with a tough 2-0 loss to Milwaukee in October of last season. The Badgers used the opportunity to exact their revenge on their in-state foes.The last time the two teams played was Oct. 23 when they fought for a 1-1 double overtime draw in Milwaukee. However this game would not be allowed to end in a tie as the winning team would move on to face Notre Dame in the second round of the NCAA tournament.The rivalry brought a huge crowd. Nearly 1,500 people crammed into the McClimon Complex to see the 11th ranked Badgers extend their home unbeaten streak. The line for tickets went up and around the corner of the stadium as fans young and old waited for their chance to witness the first ever all-Wisconsin NCAA tournament game.“That’s something that can be easily over looked,” Trask said. “It’s a big day for Wisconsin. There has never been a Wisconsin versus Wisconsin NCAA tournament matchup. To see all three of us (Wisconsin, UWM and Marquette) in the tournament is pretty special.”Student attendance was even higher than expected after head coach John Trask purchased student tickets for the first 100 UW students to arrive at the game.“If I made a little bit more money I would have bought a few more,” Trask said with a smile. “I didn’t want kids that really wanted to be here to miss it, I mean to students four dollars is a sandwich, it’s lunch for college students. I’ll tell you what if we are here next year I will double that number, I promise you.”The crowd erupted in the 13th minute when the Badgers struck first. Nick Janus found Chris Prince in the middle of the box. Prince carefully placed the ball past Milwaukee goalkeeper Liam Anderson and into the net notching the Badgers go-ahead goal.As the second half wound down the Badgers had another good chance at goal. Tomislav Zadro took the ball down the middle of the field before playing it off to Janus, who was open at the top of the box. Janus drilled a shot into the chest of a charging Anderson who was able to make the save.Flurries began to fly in typical Wisconsin fashion as the first half came to a close. Along with the flurries, Milwaukee unleashed a flurry of attacks on the Wisconsin defense in the second half as they tried to overcome the 1-0 deficit.“They had to throw it all at us,” Junior AJ Cochran said. “They had 45 minutes to save one heck of a season. You could tell they were fighting for it in the second half, we just had to hold on and battle.”The Badgers fought off multiple Milwaukee attacks by dominating their own box in the air. Cochran, an all-Big Ten selection is one of the most dominant players in the air in the country and was able to help clear the ball on nearly every Panthers possession.“It’s so nice, you know every time you hear him call the ball he is gonna get a head on it,” senior goalkeeper Max Jentsch said. “He’s just an incredible player in the air.”And hold on they did. Despite the Panthers putting up a valiant effort, UWM found themselves down 1-0 still with six minutes remaining in their season. UWM picked up the pace as the Badgers tried to slow the game down. Sophomore Drew Conner drew two fouls in the closing minutes to help burn some time, and junior Jacob Brindle fired the ball into the air as time expired on the Badgers final home win of the season.Fans flooded the field as the announcer reminded the crowd that fans were not permitted on the field after the game, but that didn’t stop the nearly 400 students from taking the field to congratulate their fellow badgers on the first NCAA tournament win in nearly two decades.Trask was reflective after the game when asked what the win means for Wisconsin soccer going forward.“It’s huge for Wisconsin soccer. Not just this school but all of the schools in the state. I think you’re gonna see a rivalry between us and Milwaukee develop as we go forward. Kris Kelderman and his guys do a great job.”The road doesn’t get any easier for the Badgers. On Sunday, Wisconsin will take on second-ranked Notre Dame at 7 P.M. in South Bend.“We are going to go play the second-ranked team in the country,” Trask said. “They have one loss on the season. They are a tremendous program. We are going to go there and hopefully bring it our best stuff and give it a go.”With the game looming in the near future, the Badgers have a quick turnaround before they have to take on one of the best programs in the country, a tall order but this Wisconsin team is not known for going down without a fight.last_img