MADISON, Wis. -- For the second-consecutive season, Scott Lorenz found a way to be a thorn in Michigan State’s side.
This time, however, the senior provided more than just irritation for the Spartans.
Lorenz, who had four shots-on-goal but couldn’t find the net in a 1-0 loss to Michigan State last season, connected on a pair of goals against the Spartans on Sunday and lifted the Wisconsin men’s soccer team to a 2-1, double-overtime win at the McClimon Complex.
After contributing the equalizer in the 15th minute, Lorenz provided the dramatic game-winner in the 105th minute.
It was a breakthrough on many levels for the Badgers, who returned to the win column for the first time since Sept. 18 and grabbed their first Big Ten Conference victory of the season.
“From front to back, this was our best performance of the year,” UW head coach Todd Yeagley said. “It was our toughness, team defending and our ability to get the ball to our key players and put pressure on the other team.”
Mired in a four-match winless streak in which they had been outscored 8-1, the Badgers were in need of a spark on offense and Lorenz delivered.
His first goal not only was the equalizer that offset Jeff Ricondo’s sixth-minute score for the Spartans, but it also snapped the scoreless streak that had swelled to 313 consecutive minutes for UW.
Lorenz’s second score then put an end to the Badgers’ string of three-consecutive shutout losses.
“Getting a goal early was a big confidence booster for us,” Lorenz said.
It also was a personal breakthrough for Lorenz, who had failed to find the net in nine games this season after tallying a team-high 10 goals in 2008.
“As a whole we executed what we wanted to,” Lorenz said. “The creativity was there, and we got service from where we wanted.”
The Spartans were the first to strike, as Ricondo netted his third goal of the season by drilling a deep line drive to the far post from 20 yards out in the sixth minute.
Lorenz had the Badgers’ answer just over nine minutes later, however, as he collected a flick header from Brandon Miller and converted a short volley to beat MSU goalkeeper Avery Steinlage high to pick up his first tally.
Redshirt freshman Danny Ahlering, making the first start of his career, delivered the serve that Miller placed to Lorenz and picked up his first-career assist on the play.
“He’s been hoping for an opportunity and opportunities come in creative ways,” Yeagley said of Ahlering. “Now it’s going to be difficult to take Danny off the field.”
“I knew I was ready to step in and play,” said Ahlering, who joined teammate Max Wilson as a first-time starter in the Badgers’ 4-4-2 formation.
A long dry spell followed for both teams, although Miller appeared to net a goal of his own in the 81st minute before the referee ruled Miller to be offside and waved off the goal.
There was no doubt about the game-winner, however, as Lorenz collected a long ball over the top of MSU's defense from junior Jon Rzepka and tapped it home. Miller also assisted on the play by providing a pass to set up the volley Rzepka directed to Lorenz.
“It’s something we’ve been practicing all week, trying to be on the same page as an attacking group,” Lorenz said. “He played an unbelievable ball under my foot and I was lucky enough to get a toe on it and have it go through the goal.”
UW was out-shot, 7-4, in the second period, but had applied plenty of offensive pressure and owned a 6-1 lead in corner kicks after regulation.
When it came to overtime, it was all Badgers.
Wisconsin limited the Spartans to a single shot attempt in the extra sessions, while launching five shots of their own. In the end, though, only one really counted.
“We were focused the entire game, and something that coach preaches is that we maintain focus the whole time,” Lorenz said. “I think the coaches, along with our back line, helped us keep our focus and eventually get that game-winner.”
The Badgers, who have played six of their last eight games away from home, return to the road for a pair of contests this week.
The road swing begins with a matchup against in-state rival Green Bay on Wednesday, Oct. 14, before the Badgers jump back into Big Ten play by heading to Evanston, Ill., to take on Northwestern on Saturday, Oct. 17.
Notes Sunday’s 2-1 win earned head coach Todd Yeagley his first Big Ten Conference victory … the win also was the Badgers’ first on Big Ten Network, which carried the match live … UW is now 1-3-2 all-time in games televised by BTN … Sunday’s match was the last in a string of six-consecutive matchups with 2008 NCAA Tournament teams … the Badgers finished with a 2-3-1 record against those squads … the Badgers matched their highest scoring output of the season with their two goals Sunday … UW also scored twice in a 3-2 loss to San Diego State on Sept. 13 … the Spartans had allowed just five goals in their first 10 games this season … UW is just the fourth opponent to score a goal against the Spartans in 11 games this season … Wisconsin earned a win against Michigan State for the first time since a 3-2 overtime victory on Oct. 30, 2005 and increased its lead in the all-time series with Michigan State to 20-8-4 … Wisconsin is now 1-1-2 in overtime games this season … with five shots Sunday, senior forward Scott Lorenz moved into 10th place on the Badgers’ all-time shots list, with 117 for his career .. with his 18th-career win, senior goalkeeper Alex Horwath moved into sole possession of eighth place on UW’s all-time wins list