April 30, 2010
MADISON, Wis. -- Mark Roos’ last-minute heroics capped a scoring barrage that allowed the Wisconsin men’s soccer team to grab a 4-3 win over in-state rival Milwaukee and wrap up an unbeaten spring season Friday inside the McClain Center.
Roos, who scored a game-winner for the Badgers with three seconds remaining against Western Illinois last season, converted a similar header for the win Friday. Playing the ball off a bounce from goalkeeper Ryan Vint’s goal kick, Roos flicked home the winner with around a minute to play.
“I just didn’t to go to overtime,” he said.
The Badgers’ exhibition finale was originally schedule to take place inside Camp Randall Stadium, but inclement weather forced the match onto the smaller field inside the McClain Center. The teams adapted by using eight field players to a side, and the move resulted in a fast-paced contest.
The Badgers (2-0-3) surpassed the goal total from their first four matches combined, but they also allowed three goals after giving up just a single tally over those first four games.
“There were some things tonight that were good, and there were some things that really weren’t so good,” Badgers assistant coach Keith Tiemeyer said. “The spring is not about winning or losing, or scoring or giving up goals, it’s about making strides individually and advancing as a group.”
Wisconsin struck first on a header from senior-to-be Jon Rzepka just eight minutes into the match. Rzepka struck again in the 32nd minute when he unleashed an impressive blast from 25 yards out that drilled the back of the net to double the Badgers’ advantage, at 2-0.
Rzepka's pair of goals matched senior Josh Thiermann for the Badgers' spring scoring lead.
Cody Banks responded for Milwaukee (2-2-2) with a tally just six minutes later after the Panthers caught Wisconsin in a 1-on-2 situation defensively.
It was just the second goal allowed by the Badgers this spring and sent Wisconsin into halftime with a 2-1 advantage.
Milwaukee evened things up at 2-2, however, when Robert Refai putting a shot home for the equalizer in the 63rd minute.
Rising sophomore Derek Pitts had the answer for the Badgers nine minutes later when he tallied a goal on a header off a corner kick that slipped through Milwaukee’s defense and past the mouth of the goal.
The lead was short-lived, however, as Aaron Gibbons connected on a long, low shot that evened the sides again, at 3-3, in the 77th minute.
Milwaukee had several chances over the game’s final minutes, but the Panthers were unable to connect on goal. That left the door open for Roos – off a goalkeeper assist, no less – to put the Badgers out front.
“It’s nice to end on a high note like that, but the team knows there is plenty to work on individually this summer,” Tiemeyer said. “We will be a much different team when we add 12 newcomers this fall, and I know these guys will be ready to compete.”