April 20, 2010
MADISON, Wis. -- A limited pool of available players hasn’t stopped the Wisconsin men’s soccer team from a putting together a strong opening to its spring exhibition season.
The Badgers (1-0-1) are unbeaten and have yet to surrender a goal through their first two spring matches, a pair of road contests in Chicago.
UW opened the spring slate with a 2-0 win over UIC on April 11 and then battled Loyola-Chicago to a scoreless draw last Saturday, April 17.
“I’ve really been pleased with the commitment and progress our players have shown so far in training this spring,” first-year head coach John Trask said. “These matches are important for us because they are a reward for all the hard training they’ve put in.”
The win over the Flames came on the strength of two first-half goals by senior Josh Thiermann, who joined the Badgers this spring after transferring from Notre Dame.
Goalkeepers Jamal Habibi and Ryan Vint combined on the shutout of the Flames, each playing a half in goal.
The same was true against Loyola, with Vint starting and Habibi finishing off a second-consecutive shutout for the Badgers in the second half.
“It’s important not to place too much importance on the outcome of spring matches, but it is great for us to not have given up a goal,” Trask said.
The Badgers, who lost nine players to graduation from their 2009 squad and also are dealing with several injuries, have been aided by a few of those departed seniors this spring.
Brandon Miller, Max Wilson and Brian Bultman all saw action against UIC, while Bultman also chipped in minutes against Loyola.
UW’s spring season continues Sunday at the annual Wisconsin Spring Cup in Milwaukee, where the Badgers will face Green Bay at 10 a.m. before taking on either Marquette or Milwaukee at 1:30 or 2 p.m.