Challenging non-conference opponents and four tournaments highlight the 20-game Wisconsin mens soccer fall 2003 schedule released Tuesday by head coach Jeff Rohrman.
The upcoming season will also see the Badgers take to the field against NCAA tournament teams New Mexico, UW-Milwaukee and Big Ten opponents Penn State and Indiana.
Yes, its a challenging schedule and demanding in a lot of ways, Rohrman said. But were going to be deeper and a little bit more talented overall with the personnel and players to get through this type of schedule. As a philosophy, we want to try to play good teams.
Wisconsin opens its regular season by playing host to the teams annual Rocky Rococo Wisconsin Soccer Classic at the McClimon Soccer Complex Friday, Aug. 29 and Sunday, Aug. 31. Both Wisconsin and UW-Milwaukee will play New Mexico and Northern Illinois, but will not play each other until later in the season.
The Badgers head to the bright lights of Las Vegas Sept. 5 7 for the UNLV tournament to play host UNLV and Mount St. Marys, followed by a short home stopover to face in-state rival UW-Green Bay, Wednesday, Sept. 10 at McClimon.
UW takes to the road for two back-to-back tournament weekends before returning home again. The Badgers travel to the East Coast for Ivy League competition at the Adidas Brown Classic in Providence, R.I., to play the Yale Bulldogs and host Bears Sept. 12-14, followed by the Dayton Tournament, Sept. 19-21 where the Badgers will take on the host Flyers and the IUPUI Jaguars.
I think all of the tournaments will be very good and pose great challenges for us, Rohrman said. Its always difficult to play Friday Sunday, but its also good preparation for us for the Big Ten tournament and the NCAA tournament as well. Theyre all quality opponents and I think one of things we learned last year was to never overlook or underestimate anybody.
Wisconsin steps on to the familiar grass of the McClimon Soccer Complex Wednesday, Sept. 24 when the Badgers welcome the Illinois-Chicago Flames to Madison, followed by the Badgers Big Ten home-opener against Ohio State Sunday, Sept. 28.
October will open with a challenging three-game stretch for UW with matches at UW-Milwaukee (Oct. 1) and Penn State (Oct. 5) followed by a home match against Indiana (Oct. 10). All three Badger opponents participated in the 2002 NCAA tournament with UW-M advancing to the second round, Indiana to the third round, and Penn State to the 2002 quarterfinals. Additionally, Indiana head coach Jerry Yeagley will be coaching his last regular season game against Wisconsin before retirement when the Badgers host the Hoosiers.
UW continues the home soccer action against in-state opponent Marquette, Wednesday, Oct. 15 before leaving for Ann Arbor, Mich., that weekend to play Big Ten opponent Michigan, Sunday, Oct. 19. The Badgers return home for back-to-back matches against DePaul (Oct. 22) and Michigan State (Oct. 26) at McClimon to wrap a busy month in October.
The mens team will complete the Big Ten regular season on the road at Northwestern, Saturday, Nov. 1 and will end the Badger home season by playing host to Valparaiso, Saturday, Nov. 8 at McClimon.
Wisconsin begins its post-season competition Thursday, Nov. 13 when the Badgers travel to Bloomington, Ind., for the Big Ten Conference Tournament hosted by Indiana, Nov. 13-16.
In Rohrmans first season at the helm of the Badgers, Wisconsin completed the 2002 season tied for second in the Big Ten regular season standings with a 3-3 Conference record. The Badgers compiled a 9-10-0 overall record and finished their season with a 1-0 loss to eventual Big Ten tournament champion Penn State. Wisconsin sophomores Eric Hanson and Joe Anderson, along with senior Valentine Anozie, all earned 2002 Big Ten Player of the Week honors, while sophomore Nick Van Sicklen was selected as a First-team All-Big Ten and All-Region honoree.
The Badgers have added 12 new players, including 11 recruits, for the fall 2003 season, including Aaron Hohlbein, a Middleton, Wis., senior who earned The Capital Times Boys Prep Soccer Player of the Year honor for 2002, and National Soccer Coaches Association of America/adidas High School All-Americans Aaron Witchger (Edina, Minn.) and Jake Settle (Cedar Rapids, Iowa).
Follow all Wisconsin mens soccer action on UWBADGERS.com.