UW still unbeaten in Big Ten after shutting out MSU

first_imgContinuing their impressive unbeaten run in Big Ten play, the Wisconsin men’s soccer team defeated Michigan State 1-0 in a hard fought victory Sunday at the McClimon Complex on a windy, fall day in front of a crowd of more than 600 fans.The shutout victory solidifies Wisconsin’s (7-4-2, 3-0-0 Big Ten) hold on first place in the Big Ten. No other team in the Big Ten has won all three of its games, and only Wisconsin and Northwestern (2-0-1) remain unbeaten thus far. Michigan State, meanwhile, fell to 4-7-2 and 1-2-1 in the conference.The game was dictated by windy conditions that affected the flight of the ball throughout the game and made it difficult for either team to have a meaningful possession. As a result, for much of the first half, defenses prevailed as both teams combined for a total of only eight shots.The lone goal of the game, which came in the 33rd minute, developed from a breakaway give-and-go by senior Josh Thiermann and sophomore Chris Prince at the top of the penalty area that set Prince free behind the defense. After having the initial shot deflected by the goalkeeper, Prince ultimately found the back of the net on the rebound attempt and slotted it across the goal line.“I was just sitting on the outside, and I saw [Thiermann] come in and get the ball,” Prince said. “You know, Josh and I have worked on some of this combination stuff, and so we are getting pretty good at it and understanding each other. He just toe-poked it to me, I tried to chip the goalie, it hit off his foot and then I put it in from there.”Entering the second half, the Badgers seemed content to sit back and defend their lead, especially with the wind making it difficult for their defense to clear the ball out of their own half of the field.“Getting that goal early helped our confidence in the back. … We were able to settle down a little bit and stay composed,” sophomore defender Paul Yonga said. “I mean, we had to make them work. We were the ones with the lead, so we [knew] that we had them chasing the game in the second half.”Increased possession in the second half by the Spartans led to one of their best opportunities of the game in the 71st minute. After an interesting call by the official against sophomore goalkeeper Max Jentsch, Michigan State received an indirect free kick in the penalty area that deflected off of the defense and out of harms way.Growing frustration near the end of the game from Michigan State led to two red cards for the Spartans, one of which went to standout senior forward Rubin Bega. The remaining 10 minutes of the game resulted in relentless attack from the remaining 10 Michigan State players as they desperately tried to level the score, forcing Jentsch to make some key saves to preserve the slim lead.“When you’re at 10 men and you’re losing, there’s that feeling of ‘Oh my god, let’s kick it in front of goal,’ and there were some scary moments,” head coach John Trask said. “But I thought, overall, it was very well played by the team.”Looking ahead to their remaining three Big Ten games, the Badgers enter a three game road trip confident in their ability to win close games. Their confidence will be tested as they face their next Big Ten opponent at Northwestern Sunday, a game that could be a deciding factor in crowning the 2011 Big Ten champion.“We are 3-0 in the Big Ten now. We have had a confident start, so I think we’re looking good,” Yonga said. “We are looking to stay composed, not be too over confident, but I think we are pretty confident right now that we could beat anyone.”last_img

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recent Comments