In what was largely an even match, it was an uneven number that proved to be the difference.
Will Bruins breakaway goal in the 57th minute was the difference-maker for No. 13 Indiana, which held off the Wisconsin mens soccer team for a 1-0 win in the Big Ten Conference opener for both teams, a match played before a crowd of 1,703 fans that turned out for the Badgers Pac the Mac doubleheader.
sportid=122&storyid=19133"> --> Spotlight: Fans 'Pac the Mac' | postid=2409"> --> Brian Mason's Gameday Blog
Bruins score stood in stark contrast to what was largely a balanced, defensive struggle between a pair of teams very familiar with each other. Fridays match was the teams first meeting since Todd Yeagley, a former player and assistant coach at IU, became the Badgers head man in December.
The Badgers had put together a run that was halted by the Hoosiers and turned into a free-for-all near midfield. Indianas Tommy Meyer emerged from the scrum with the ball and made a long serve to Bruin, who broke away from the UW defense and tapped a ball past UW keeper Alex Horwath for the winning score.
We played well tonight, so thats a tough loss to swallow, Horwath said. Theyre a very talented team, and we made it difficult for them to play, we created some opportunities.
It was a pretty even game.
The goal was certainly a setback, but it didnt entirely deflate the Badgers, who put together several strong scoring chances in the minutes that followed.
It had an effect on our play, but we tell our players to be disciplined and make the next play, Yeagley said. We had to move on quickly, and our guys did a good job of that once the emotions settled down.
The Hoosiers (4-2-1, 1-0-0 Big Ten) put a total of eight shots on goal in the contest, and Horwath finished with six saves. In contrast, just two of the Badgers eight shots were on frame.
Jon Rzepka and Austin Spohn had the Badgers best looks in the second half, as each saw header attempts off set pieces sail just wide of the IU goal.
It was the final touch, whether it was our final pass or a few excellent services that you hope deflect and land in your areas where youre making your runs, and that didnt happen tonight, Yeagley said.
The Badgers (2-3-2, 0-1-0) now turn their attention to a non-conference matchup with Illinois-Chicago on Wednesday, Sept. 30. The Badgers and Flames kick off in Chicago at 7 p.m.
Fridays attendance of 1,703 is the sixth-largest in McClimon Complex history and the largest since 1,846 watched the Badgers face the Hoosiers on Oct. 17, 1997 five of UWs seven largest crowds have come in games in which the Badgers faced Indiana Fridays match marked the 100th Big Ten Conference game in UW history, with the Badgers record in regular-season league games falling to 42-49-9 Indianas win extended Wisconsins winless streak against the Hoosiers to 17 straight meetings, dating back to Oct. 13, 1995 the Badgers are now 2-10-2 all-time against IU in game played in Madison, including a 1-7-1 mark at the McClimon Complex Fridays was the 38th meeting with Indiana since UW elevated mens soccer to a varsity sport in 1977, the most games for the Badgers against any opponent the Badgers are now 4-4-0 all-time in Big Ten openers, and 9-9-1 in conference-openers played at home the Badgers fell to 1-1-1 in home games this season the Badgers have gone 32 consecutive matches without being awarded a penalty kick, a streak dating back to Oct. 13, 2007 Wisconsin has allowed one goal or fewer in five of its seven matches this season, including three shutouts senior forward Scott Lorenz made his 45th-consecutive start for the Badgers, a streak dating back to Aug. 31, 2007 Lorenz also tallied at least one shot for the 20th-consecutive match, dating back to Sept. 14, 2008
Senior Goalkeeper Alex Horwath - On the crowd:
They were awesome. That was the best environment Ive played in since Ive come to Madison, and that definitely contributes to our effort and performance tonight. I hope tonight some people became fans of Wisconsin soccer and will continue to come out. It really does help.
Senior Forward Scott Lorenz - On facing Indiana:
Its the Big Ten opener, so emotions are running high and, throughout the game, you try not to get too high or too low, you have to level yourself off. Theyre a good passing team and they make us chase the game, which tires us out and takes away from our ability to counter-attack.
Head Coach Todd Yeagley - On the impact of the crowd:
"Our players before the game were talking about it right in the locker room going, `Guys, come on, look at this crowd, look at the students! They felt it, and thats really the difference; it gives them a little bounce in their step.