Oct. 28, 2009
Box Score | Box Score
MADISON, Wis. -- It began with a celebration, but Wednesday’s match ended on a sour note for the Wisconsin men’s soccer team.
A goal by Juan Hoyos in the 85th minute propelled Northern Illinois to a 1-0 win, snapping Wisconsin’s three-game win streak and spoiling Senior Night in the Badgers’ home finale at the McClimon Complex.
The loss dropped the Badgers back below the .500 mark at 6-7-2 overall and also snapped the team’s three-game home win streak, dating back to Oct. 11. The shutout also brought an end to the Badgers’ run of three straight multiple-goal games.
The Badgers were held to just six shots for the match and failed to put any of those on frame. It was UW’s first game without a shot-on-goal all season.
“It was a game where we couldn’t find rhythm, we were slow in transition, not sharp offensively and certainly didn’t get many chances,” UW head coach Todd Yeagley said. “I just thought we didn’t bring the game we have been bringing for the last five or six games.”
The Huskies managed 14 shots, but the Badgers’ defense limited NIU to just three looks on frame and senior goalkeeper Alex Horwath collected a pair of saves.
The one Horwath couldn’t get to, however, proved to be the one that made the difference.
After a long possession on the far side of the field, at the top of the 18-yard box, Hoyos launched a shot that deflected off at least one UW defender and caromed to the near side of the goal. It tucked inside the near post as Horwath made a diving attempt after the change of direction.
Hoyos’ goal was the first allowed by the Wisconsin defense since Oct. 17, halting a run of 319 consecutive scoreless minutes.
“Our team has been doing a really good job about being really sound in the back,” Yeagley said. “I still believe we’re learning and, tonight, (NIU) capitalized on a mistake.”
Northern Illinois out-shot the Badgers 9-3 in the first half, but UW’s defense allowed the Huskies to get just one clean look at the goal. That came in the 37th minute, when Danny Lopez uncorked a blast that Horwath punched wide on a diving save attempt.
The senior keeper made another brilliant stop in the second half, as he came out of the goal to make a sliding save on a ball bounced into the box by Ben Thomas in the 54th minute.
Despite several well-organized possessions on the NIU side of the field, the Badgers were held to just three shots in the second half and did not attempt a corner.
“It’s our last game, so obviously we wanted to come out with a win,” senior defender Eric Conklin said. “We put it all out on the field, and it’s too bad we couldn’t end with a win.”
Scott Lorenz led the way for UW offensively with a pair of shots.
The Badgers must quickly turn their attention to a pivotal Saturday match against Penn State in their Big Ten Conference finale. UW stands atop the Big Ten standings, just two points ahead of the second-place Nittany Lions.
The match is set for 2 p.m. (CT) in University Park, Pa., and will be televised on a tape-delay basis by Big Ten Network at 3 p.m. Sunday.
A total of nine players were honored prior to Wednesday’s contest as part of Senior Night festivities. Alex Horwath, Brandon Miller, Scott Lorenz, Brian Bultman, Max Wilson, Pablo Delgado, Eric Conklin, Taylor Waspi and Austin Nyquist all played their final home game for the Badgers.