Virginia Commonwealth took a one-goal lead just before halftime, but the Wisconsin mens soccer team could not convert on any of their second-half opportunities in an eventual 1-0 exhibition loss Saturday night in the college highlight game of the Jefferson Cup. The game was the first of three for the Badgers in a five-day span on the East Coast.
Although the Rams outshot the Badgers 16-6 throughout the contest, the Badger defense held Virginia Commonwealth scoreless through the first 43 minutes of regulation time. VCUs Matthew Delicate scored the lone goal off a long cross from teammate Gonzalo Segares to beat Wisconsin goalkeeper Eric Hanson on the far post at 43:22. In total, Hanson collected five saves for the Badgers, while VCUs Nate Oser and Saul Montero split time in the Ram net. Oser posted the only save for the Virginia Commonwealth defense.
Offensively, UWs Jed Hohlbein, a transfer from Southwest Missouri State, led the Badgers with three shots. Middleton, Wis., native Hohlbein and his younger brother Aaron will both join the Wisconsin roster this fall for the regular season.
The Rams finished the 2002 season with a 15-5-1 overall record, and claimed both the Colonial Athletic Associations regular season and tournament championship this past year. The Rams, who were ranked nationally for most of the season, received the #8 national seed in the 2002 NCAA Mens Soccer tournament, the programs highest-ever ranking entering the tournament. VCU won a school-record eight games at home, including victories over defending national champion North Carolina and nationally-ranked Syracuse, under head coach Tim O'Sullivan, the CAA Coach of the Year.
Wisconsin next plays 2002 Final Four participants, the Maryland Terrapins, on Monday, March 17. An assistant coach at Maryland for seven years before accepting his position at Wisconsin last January, Wisconsin head coach Jeff Rohrman and the Badgers will face Maryland head coach Sasho Cirovski and the 2002 Atlantic Coast Conference Champion Terrapins at 6 p.m. (CST).