The Wisconsin mens soccer team took advantage of extra time in their exhibition opener Monday against UW-Parkside, scoring a 1-0 win over the Rangers at the McClimon Complex.
After battling to a scoreless draw during the 90 minutes of regulation, the Badgers found the back of the goal just over six minutes into the 10-minute extra session off a free kick.
Jon Rzepka delivered an accurate serve from the far side that freshman Ata Ozbay headed directly to the feet of junior Bryan Gerster, who converted on a point-blank shot for the difference-maker.
We always say you have to find a way to win and I thought the focus at the end, when youre tired, was great, said first-year head coach Todd Yeagley. To keep that ball on frame on the cross and the detail on the rebound, those are the things were talking about.
We like to see those things executed, so there were definitely some positives to take away.
The goal was one of four shots the Badgers managed to put on frame in the contest, including a pair by senior Scott Lorenz. In all, he had five of the Badgers 14 shots. Juniors Cale Cooper and Austin Spohn each had a pair of shots, as well.
The Badgers managed just four shots after halftime, matching the Rangers offensive output in the second half and overtime. UW owned a 10-7 advantage in shots in the first half, however.
Senior Alex Horwath started in goal for the Badgers and recorded five saves before being replaced by sophomore Jamal Habibi in the second half.
Parkside is a good team and they can compete and make things very difficult, said Yeagley. I thought we were really out of sync in the first half, slow in our ball movement, timid and just a bit off.
We challenged our guys at the half and, as the game went on, the players we brought in all lifted us. We got a lot of guys into the game, and that was one of our objectives.
The Badgers return to action this Saturday, Aug. 29, for the final exhibition contest. UW will face No. 3-ranked Akron as part of the National Soccer Festival in Fort Wayne, Ind.