The Wisconsin mens soccer team heads back out on the road this Saturday, April 17, for three exhibition contests at Marquette Universitys Valley Fields. The Badgers will face DePaul at 12:15 p.m., UW-Milwaukee at 1:30, and conclude the day against UW-Whitewater at 2:45.
The main thing I want to see out of the games this weekend is a consistent level of play, Wisconsin head coach Jeff Rohrman said. I would also like to see us play more sharply on defense and begin to recognize things a bit more quickly in the attack.
The Badgers welcome the event as a chance to reacquaint themselves with outdoor competition. Wisconsin played its first outdoor match at St. Louis on April 3, falling 5-1 to the Billikens. Junior forward Nick Van Sicklen notched Wisconsins goal less than five minutes into the game.
I think we paid a bit of a price in the second half of the St. Louis game, with it being our first time outdoors, Rohrman said. But for the first half, I thought we played quite well.
Saturdays games will also be an opportunity for Rohrman to experiment with a few different lineups.
It will be difficult in terms of getting people in familiar places because weve had some injuries, Rohrman said. Were going to be tinkering with some things, so there may not be as cohesive of a unit out there. That being said, it will be a good opportunity for a lot of guys to get out there and see what they can do.
Wisconsin faced two of this weekends opponents in the regular season, earning wins against UW-Milwaukee and DePaul. The Badgers also saw the Panthers earlier in the spring when they hosted a college and professional round-robin competition at the McClain Facility on March 28.
It will be great to see UW-M again, Rohrman said. It always seems to bring out the best in both teams.
On Oct. 1, the Badgers took a 1-0 victory over the then-regionally-ranked Panthers in Milwaukee. Junior David Martinez scored the only goal of the game in the 40th minute on a Van Sicklen assist. The win marked the first Wisconsin victory over Milwaukee since 2000, and the first on the Panthers home field since 1997.
Wisconsin welcomed DePaul to Madison on Oct. 22 and sent the Blue Demons away empty-handed as the Badgers walked away with the 2-1 victory. Junior forward Jed Hohlbein netted both goals for Wisconsin, with his game-winning header coming in the 53rd minute of play.
The Badgers have two more spring contests on the horizon as they go back to Milwaukee on April 25 for a full-sided match with the A-League Wave United. Wisconsin and Milwaukee met earlier this spring in Wisconsins college and professional round robin.
Wisconsin wraps up its exhibition season at the McClimon Soccer Complex on Friday, April 30, with a game against Wisconsin soccer alumni. Fans are encouraged to attend this free event, which is tentatively scheduled for 7:30 p.m.