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Nichols' PK propels Badgers past No. 22 PSU


ON WISCONSIN
ON WISCONSIN

ON WISCONSIN

Nov. 6, 2010

Wisconsin 1, 22 Penn State 0
McClimon Complex • Madison, Wis.
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1st 2nd Final
 Penn State (11-6-1, 2-3-1) 0 0 0
 Wisconsin (4-12-2, 1-4-1) 1 0 1
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• Attendance: 497
 Scoring
WIS 28' Aaron Nichols (Penalty kick)
 Goalkeepers Min GA Sv
PSU Warren Gross 90:00 1 4
WIS Max Jentsch 90:00 0 6
 Stats at a Glance PSU WIS
 Shots 12 10
 Shots on Goal 6 5
 Saves 4 6
 Offsides 0 0
 Corner Kicks 12 5
 Yellow Cards 4 1
 Red Cards -- --
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MADISON, Wis. -- Propelled by senior Aaron Nichols’ (Woodstock, Ill.) penalty kick, the Wisconsin men’s soccer team defeated No. 22 Penn State, 1-0, Saturday night at the McClimon Complex. The victory marks the program’s first win over a ranked opponent and Big Ten Conference victory since topping then-No. 25 Ohio State, 2-0, on Oct. 25, 2009.

Nichols sealed the Badgers’ victory in the 27th minute of the contest when he fired a penalty kick into the upper left corner of the net past Penn State’s Warren Gross.

The goal was especially sentimental for Nichols’, who before the contest, joined fellow seniors Bryan Gerster (Dacula, Ga.), Jon Rzepka (Kentwood, Mich.) and Ryan Vint (Plymouth, Minn.) as the Badgers honored the quartet for their careers at UW.

“That was the best way to end my senior year at home,” Nichols, who recorded his third goal of the season said. “I saw the opportunity, and I always try to go up there with as much confidence as I can. I am really happy that we got a result from it.

“But no matter what class it was out there tonight: freshmen, sophomores, juniors or seniors—everyone was working so hard out there. It made the night very memorable, and thanks to all of the guys it is a night that the seniors will never forget.”

Although Nichols’ tabbed the Badgers’ first penalty kick since then-senior Eric Conklin found a result against Northwestern on Oct. 17, 2009, freshman Max Jentsch (Hartland, Wis.) made a crucial save in the 12th minute to prevent the Nittany Lions from obtaining the 1-0 advantage off their own penalty kick opportunity. PSU’s Corey Hertzog aimed the penalty kick toward the lower right corner of the goal, but Jentsch, who finished with six saves for UW, made a diving effort to keep the game scoreless. The rookie goalkeeper is now 3-5-0 for the Badgers, with three shutouts on the season.

Although PSU outshot the Cardinal and White, 12-10, the Wisconsin attack forced Gross to stop four shots in goal for the Nittany Lions.

“The guys have bought in. They are playing for each other, they are playing for the school and it was an impressive performance tonight,” Wisconsin head coach John Trask said.

“I am so proud of those seniors. Aaron Nichols’ penalty kick was a senior captain’s performance in a big game, not only saying that he’ll take the kick but him showing that maturity. The quality of the kick was so nice. No goalie would have saved it. That’s the confidence that comes with knowing that you are becoming a pretty good soccer team. We are just looking forward to getting on the plane to Penn State. The guys have been looking forward to it, and we are going to have fun in practice in the next couple of days.”

After competing in their last home game of the season Saturday, the Badgers begin postseason play in the Big Ten Tournament Nov. 11-14 in University Park, Pa.

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