Wisconsin all set for rivalry game with Marquette

first_imgIt’s time for a little Interstate 94 rivalry.The Wisconsin men’s soccer team looks to bounce back to its winning ways today, as the team travels just down the highway to take on No. 10/7 Marquette. The Badgers (2-3-3, 0-1-0) will look to win their second road game of the year as they head to Valley Fields Wednesday night to take on the unbeaten Eagles (8-0-0).The rivalry between the two teams proves to result in great matches year after year. Just a season ago, the teams battled to a 1-1 draw after two overtimes at the McClimon Complex. In 2010, the Golden Eagles defeated the Badgers at Valley Fields by a final score of 1-0. On top of all that, the teams have competing childhood friends, which will ensure spirited competition for the match.“I think we are ready. This is a big rivalry, a big game for us,” junior forward Nick Janus said. “I have a lot of friends on Marquette from my hometown – kids I played with in high school, and in club. I think our whole team is excited to play this game.”In the Big Ten Conference opener against the Penn State, the Badgers’ offense struggled to find the back of the net in a 1-0 loss. Marquette’s defensive line, along with goalkeeper, Charlie Lyon, has posted five shutouts in eight games this season, making it Wisconsin’s second straight opponent with a reputable defense. But the Badgers feel they can use their size to their advantage against the Golden Eagles.“We have been trying to get out wide, and get services in. We have some big players that we can get in the box,” Janus said. “We are going to use set pieces a lot, and try to float some in to our big guys.”Head coach John Trask is looking for his team to come out with a competitive fire. Both teams have proven to be strong offensively and defensively, which to him seemingly indicates the potential for a close match.“It’s going to be a battle royale tomorrow. I think our guys are up for the challenge, and I am sure their players feel they are up for the challenge,” Trask said. “I do not think it’s going to be a high-scoring affair unless we get some crazy weather between now and tomorrow night. I think it’s going to be a tight defensive, tough battle between two very good teams.”The Golden Eagles have started their season on a hot streak, recording the best start in program history with a perfect 8-0-0 record, giving them the second-longest regular season winning streak in the nation. Marquette has been outscoring its opponents by large margins, including a 5-0 victory over DePaul last Saturday.The Badgers’ defense plays a vital role in the team’s ability to contend with high-scoring teams such as Marquette. The defense has been successful in the past few weeks in limiting the number of goals it allows opponents.“I think our experience has helped us,” junior defenseman Paul Yonga said. “Another thing I would say is our size. We are big and strong in the back, so that has definitely helped us out in the past year.” With a solid and experienced back four, the defense is confident it is ready for Marquette’s high-scoring offense. The unit’s preparation in practice has been increasingly concentrated.“We are working on the smaller things, working on our set pieces and making sure we are staying sharp in the back. We have done well the past few games to not give up a lot of goals,” Yonga said.In addition to keeping a firm back line, the Wisconsin defense wants to play a supportive role for the offense in the final third of the field. The defense is looking to help the offense by penetrating Marquette’s 18-yard box from the flanks.“We have to give our forwards a little more help. We have not had many opportunities in the past games,” Yonga said. “I definitely think getting our outside backs, Trevor Wheeler, Jerry Maddi and Nick Janus up higher on the field will help us get scoring opportunities.”The Badgers found success two weeks ago against Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis when freshman midfielder Anders Kristensen found the back of the net in the first six minutes of the game. Wisconsin defeated IUPUI with a final of 2-0 after an aggressive start to the game.“The opportunity presented itself against IUPUI. Just like a good boxing match, it is two teams feeling each other out. I am sure Marquette would like to think they could jump on us tomorrow,” Trask said. “If we get the opportunity to score something early, great, but we are looking to try to win the game over 90 minutes.”last_img

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