Wisconsin returns all but one member of last seasons team, including eight seniors, to face a competitive non-conference and Big Ten calendar in the fall of 2006. Wisconsin mens soccer head coach Jeff Rohrman released the finalized schedule Thursday.
When you take a look at our schedule, some of the names that pop out at you and certainly send a message as far as the quality and caliber of competition that we have in front of us, said Rohrman. We have a terrific group of seniors and weve put the schedule together knowing that those young men would be in their last go-around.
The Badgers open their on the road with tournaments in Tulsa, Okla., (Aug. 25-27) and Milwaukee, Wis. (Sept. 1-3). After facing Tulsa, the Badgers will take on 2005 NCAA Tournament contender Southern Methodist. In Milwaukee, UW will face Indiana-Purdue-Fort Wayne and Lipscomb. Host school UW-Milwaukee will also playing a game against both teams, but will not face Wisconsin head-to-head until later in the season.
Opening at home, Sept. 8-10, UW will host the 18th-annual Wisconsin Invitational. The Badgers will face Washington Friday at 7:30 p.m. at the McClimon Soccer Complex and wraps up the tournament Sunday against Creighton at 2:30 p.m.
After their opener, the Badgers will host five of the next six games. The lone match on the road will be Michigan State on Sept. 24. Wisconsin will welcome Michigan (Sept. 17) for the 2006 Big Ten opener. Sept. 20 the Badgers and UWM Panthers face off in another meeting in the hotly contested rivalry. UWM currently holds a slight edge in the series with a 13-11-4 record vs. Wisconsin.
The UW continues its traditional in-state rivalries against all three of the states other Division I schools. The series history is tight between Wisconsin and its in-state challengers. Wisconsin will host UW-Milwaukee Sept. 20 and UW-Green Bay Oct. 24. The Badgers will be on the road to Marquette Oct. 11. Two seasons ago, the Badgers swept the state. Last season they were 2-1, losing to UW-Milwaukee.
Three Illinois schools will make their ways to Madison. First, Illinois-Chicago on Sept. 28 followed by Big Ten foe Northwestern (Oct. 1) and Western Illinois (Oct. 4).
Seven contenders on the Badgers schedule qualified for the 2005 NCAA tournament. They will face three of them in October and two on the road. In Columbus, Ohio against Ohio State, the Badgers will hope to avenge their 2-1 overtime loss to the Buckeyes last season. Big Ten tournament and regular season champion Penn State will take to the McClimon Soccer Field, Oct. 15. Closing out October and the regular season, Wisconsin takes on Indiana in Bloomington, Ind., Oct. 27.
Its a schedule that is eye-opening, yet with that challenge we hope to be reaping some rewards from that with the tremendous group of seniors leading us into the fall, said Rohrman.
The Badgers begin post-season play at the 2006 Big Ten Tournament held on Ohio States campus at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium, Nov. 2-5. Earning an 8-11-0 overall record last season, the UWs 2005 drive fell just shy of an extended season as they were defeated by Indiana in the first round of the conference tournament.
As reported earlier on uwbadgers.com, the Badgers will welcome eight new athletes to the 2006 roster: forwards Brian Bultman (Tucson, Ariz.) and Brandon Miller (Vadnais Heights, Minn.), forward/midfielders Pablo Delgado (Madrid, Spain) and Matt Arcangeli (Kalamazoo, Mich.), midfielder Jon Rzepka (Kentwood, Mich.), defensive midfielders Scott Smith and Taylor Waspi and goalkeeper Ryan Vint (Plymouth, Minn.).
Keep up with all the latest Wisconsin mens soccer action on uwbadgers.com.