Oct. 25, 2009
Box Score | Box Score
MADISON, Wis. - The Wisconsin men's soccer team did what it needed to in order to keep pace in the race for the Big Ten Conference championship Sunday, scoring a 2-0 win over No. 25 Ohio State at the McClimon Complex.
Sophomore Danny Ahlering put the Badgers out front in the 32nd minute with his first career goal, as he converted an impressive 25-yard blast into a 1-0 lead for UW.
"I really don't know where that came from," Ahlering said of his goal. "I don't think I've ever scored from outside the 18 [yard box] in my life. I was the only one up there so I guess shooting was pretty much my last option so I shot it and it went in."
Ahlering, who made his fifth-consecutive start, helped the Badgers score their fourth win in five matches, and their third-straight in Big Ten play.
"I'm getting a lot more comfortable in game situations because I think it comes with experience," Aherling said. "Today, I feel a lot more comfortable with the guys that are playing around me. It's really easy to play with our back line. It's easy to play with Aaron Nichols and Eric Conklin."
The victory also marked the Badgers' second-consecutive win over a ranked team. At 3-2-0, the Badgers have posted three conference wins for the first time since going 3-2-1 during the 2006 season.
Each squad kicked it up a notch for a more dynamic second half, and senior Taylor Waspi put things away for the Badgers in the 56th minute by converting a ball from freshman Ata Ozbay into UW's second goal of the day - and his third of the season.
"We talked about moving the ball quick, knowing where you're going with it before you get it," midfielder Jon Rzepka said. "[Ohio State is] good defensively, so we had to be quick. We tried to get the ball out wide as much as we could to isolate our outside-midfielders against their outside backs."
The Buckeyes fired back for an intense final five minutes, keeping the ball near Wisconsin's goal, while the Badgers remained solid to help reserve goalkeeper Ryan Vint secure the shutout.
Ohio State owned a 16-12 advantage in shots for the match, but Vint and starting keeper Alex Horwath combined to stop all four of the Buckeyes' shots-on-goal.
"When you start to have success, you can build and reflect and use those positive thoughts and move forward and I think that's what we're doing," head coach Todd Yeagley said. "Our depth is as strong as it has been all year. I think that this group is believing and when you play well and believe, you can put yourself in a position to succeed."
Wisconsin, which returned to the .500 mark on the year at 6-6-2, now finishes its three-game homestand with the final home contest of the season on Wednesday, Oct. 28. The Badgers take on Northern Illinois in a match scheduled for 7 p.m.