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Trading places: Conklin's PK knocks off Wildcats

ON WISCONSIN <b>Eric Conklin converted a penalty kick for the game-winning goal in the 95th minute Saturday</b>
Eric Conklin converted a penalty kick for the game-winning goal in the 95th minute Saturday

Oct. 17, 2009

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MADISON, Wis. -- The Badgers finally got their chance, and Eric Conklin made the most of it.

After going 36 consecutive matches without being awarded a penalty kick attempt, the Wisconsin men’s soccer team saw Conklin convert a penalty try into a game-winning goal five minutes into overtime to lift the Badgers to a 2-1 win over No. 16 Northwestern Saturday at Lakeside Field.

The win, which snapped the Wildcats’ 10-game unbeaten streak, also halted UW’s three-match losing streak to Northwestern and gives the Badgers (4-6-2, 2-2-0 Big Ten) multiple conference wins for the first time since 2006.

The victory also gave the Badgers their first win in a true road game in six attempts this season.

Since they were last awarded a try from the penalty spot, on Oct. 13, 2007, the Badgers had seen opponents score six penalty-kick goals, including four game-winners.

This season alone, three opponents had tallied game-winning goals against UW on penalty attempts.

Saturday, however, it was the Badgers’ turn.

The goal, Conklin’s first of the season and the sixth of his career, handed the Badgers their first win over a ranked team since downing then-No. 20 Santa Clara on Sept. 5, 2008. The victory also improved the Badgers to 2-1-2 in overtime contests this season.

Senior Taylor Waspi put the Badgers on the scoreboard first when he corralled a loose ball at the top of the goalie box and delivered his second goal of the season in the 35th minute.

The Wildcats (7-2-4, 1-1-1) answered just four minutes later, however, when Kevin Valenta converted the rebound of Peter O’Neill’s initial shot into the equalizer in the 39th minute.

The winning score was set up with five minutes elapsed in the 10-minute overtime period, as UW freshman Danny Ahlering was fouled in the box as the Badgers attempted a corner kick. Conklin lined up to make the attempt and drilled it past Northwestern goalkeeper Misha Rosenthal.

The Badgers claimed victory despite being out-shot, 16-9, and after making a total of seven saves. Sophomore goalkeeper Jamal Habibi, who entered in the 30th minute, finished with a career-best three saves, while also benefitting from a pair of team stops.

Starter Alex Horwath, who logged the first 29 minutes, 40 seconds, in goal, also had a save before being lifted because of an injury.

The Badgers now look ahead to a three-game homestand, which begins this week with a midweek contest against in-state rival Marquette on Wednesday and a return to Big Ten action against Ohio State on Sunday.

Northwestern was the seventh opponent UW has faced this season that advanced to the 2008 NCAA Tournament … the Badgers are now 3-3-1 against those squads … the win also was UW’s first in two attempts at Northwestern’s Lakeside Field, which opened in 2007 … overall, the Badgers improved to 25-7-4 all-time against the Wildcats … UW is 3-1-1 in its last five games against the Wildcats played in Evanston … junior Miles Marmo made his first career appearance for the Badgers, logging 17 minutes as a substitute … senior forward Scott Lorenz made his 50th-consecutive start for the Badgers, playing all 95 minutes … Lorenz has logged all but 11 minutes of the Badgers’ 12 matches this season

Men's Soccer vs Michigan State
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