Badgers notch third victory in 1-0 defeat of UWM

first_imgIn a game that seemed destined for a draw between University of Wisconsin-Madison and UW-Milwaukee, it took only one spark of brilliance to separate winner from loser. The breakthrough came during the 65th minute when Wisconsin redshirt junior defenseman Carl Schneider sent a header screaming though the legs of Milwaukee’s goalkeeper.After the Badgers’ attack pressured Milwaukee into conceding a corner, Schneider prepped to make his run.  A run he said he’s been practicing all year.“I’ve been making that run all season and haven’t been rewarded until today,” said Schneider. “It’s really important to have a person back post because up top can always go long.”The corner kick, sent in by midfielder Luc Kazmierczak, a redshirt sophomore, curled its way toward where Schneider planned his run. As he faded away from his marker, he created just enough space to leap and unleash a powerful header right between the legs of UW-Milwaukee goalkeeper Liam Anderson.While there weren’t many chances to be had for either side, the Badgers certainly made the most of theirs. In total, the Badgers had eight shots, of which only two were on goal. While not much can be said in terms of overall offensive productivity, efficiency was ever present.However, the real story of the game was how well Wisconsin controlled the ball and maintained possession amongst its midfielders and forwards. With a young starting lineup, the team showed maturity and poise with ball possession. Especially when the game took a turn toward the “chippy” side as a few players commented.“It definitely gets in your head a little bit, but that’s when you’ve got your captains to keep you focused,” said freshman forward Mark Segbers. “They keep you on your game. They don’t want you to get out of it over something stupid.”Physical play was a defining characteristic of the game. While only three yellow cards were handed out throughout its course, the play was much tougher than the stats show. Players on both sides were sent sprawling from bumps and tackles, jersey pulling was prevalent and the yelling from players was audible even from the stands.This was most notable when Segbers found himself in on goal after a precisely slotted through-ball cut through two Milwaukee defenders. As Segbers turned his body around the ball to his dominant foot, the Milwaukee defender sent him sprawling with a well-timed hip check just outside the box. Roars shot up from both the Badgers’ bench and the stands but only a free-kick was awarded, no card. A true testament to the overall physicality of the game.Yet the young Badgers never lost their composure, only pressing forward in a game they knew they had in the palms of their hands. Wisconsin head coach John Trask praised his players on how well they competed and kept their heads in such a hotly contested match.“You could see both programs didn’t want to lose this game and it got personal in there,” Trask said. “There was a huge battle going on in the middle of the park. There were isolated moments of good soccer for both groups, but it was just a lot of banging bodies going on in the middle.”Trask felt that this game was just what the Badgers needed in order to grow into the team that he feels can become something special in the future.“It’s a game that can really rally the guys,” Trask said. “It was not a game for the faint of heart and you need to look at your teammates and see which ones are going to be there when the ball is getting lumped in the box and you’re running into people.”With a few injured players on the team, Trask emphasized the usage of a makeshift lineup against Milwaukee. The late season matchup allowed him to experiment with new formations and allow some non-starters to gain experience when they otherwise may not have. The Badgers coach spoke on the importance of these games in regards to how they help the team grow and become a more meshed and experienced unit. He praised and gave credit to his players for standing tall when the task on hand wasn’t always as comfortable as the coaching staff would have liked it to be.There were some isolated shaky moments on defense for the Badgers. Most notably when they survived a shot ring off the post only two minutes after Schneider’s goal after a Milwaukee corner kick.Yet the Badgers proved their toughness and held on for the win. With the win they head to Penn State this Sunday for a Big Ten matchup against the 10-3-1 Nittany Lions. There they hope to grow even more and improve upon games like these.last_img

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