A challenging non-conference and Big Ten calendar awaits the Wisconsin mens soccer team for its upcoming fall 2004 campaign. Wisconsin mens soccer head coach Jeff Rohrman released the finalized schedule Thursday morning.
The Badgers open their season at home with the 16th-annual Wisconsin Soccer Classic, Sept. 3-5. Wisconsin will face the Evansville Aces Friday at 7 p.m. at the McClimon Soccer Complex and wraps up the tournament Sunday against Daytons Flyers at 2:30 p.m. UW-Milwaukee rounds out the Classic competition with a game each against Dayton and Evansville, but will not play Wisconsin in their much-heated rivalry until later in the season.
September sees the Badgers on the road with four straight games away from Madison, including a stop at the UW-Milwaukee Panther Tournament, Sept. 11-12. Again the Badgers and Panthers will save their game until later in the season, but Wisconsin is slated to play Penn on Saturday at 2 p.m. and Tulsa on Sunday at noon.
UW continues its September road swing with a stop in Omaha, Neb., Sept. 17 against Creighton followed by a match at Drake (Des Moines, Iowa) on Sept. 19. The Badgers finally return home to McClimon to play host to IUPUI on Sept. 24 at 7 p.m. Last season, Wisconsin shut out the Jaguars, 5-0, on the road.
Following suit, September ends on the road with a non-conference afternoon match-up against Northern Illinois on Sept. 29. The Badgers later play the DePaul Blue Devils (Oct. 17) on the road to complete its non-conference slate outside of Wisconsin.
The UW continues its traditional in-state rivalries against all three of the states other Division I schools over the next month. Wisconsin finally welcomes UW-Milwaukee to McClimon Oct. 6, then ventures later in the season to UW-Green Bay and Marquette on Oct. 27 and Nov. 3, respectively. Wisconsin downed the regionally-ranked Panthers 1-0 in Milwaukee last season, but the Badgers look to exact revenge on the Phoenix for two seasons of 1-0 upsets. Additionally, the Cardinal and Whites road trip down I-94 to Milwaukee give the Badgers a shot at again improving their 11-9-6 all-time record against the Golden Eagles.
More exciting Big Ten soccer action returns to McClimon this season with conference home matches against Penn State on Oct. 10, Michigan on Oct. 22 and a home tilt against Northwestern on Nov. 7 wraps Wisconsins home and regular season. Wisconsin travels to Ohio State on Oct. 3, Indiana on Oct. 15 and Michigan State on Oct. 31 to complete their ever-challenging Big Ten schedule for 2004.
The Badgers begin post-season play this upcoming season at the 2004 Big Ten Tournament held on the University of Michigan campus from Nov. 11-14. Earning an 11-10-1 overall record last season, the UWs 2003 drive advanced to the semifinal round of the Big Ten Championships for the first time since 1998 before narrowly falling to top-seeded Indiana 1-0.
As reported earlier on uwbadgers.com, the Badgers will welcome five new athletes to the roster this fall: midfielders Erik Ortega (Western Springs, Ill./Lyons Township), Nick Caronna (Brookfield, Wis./Brookfield Central H.S.) and B.J. Goodman (Lake Orion, Mich./Detroit Country Day Preparatory School); midfielders/forwards Sho Fujita (West Bloomfield, Mich./ Andover) and Dirk Pearson (South Barrington, Ill./Barrington).
Keep up with all the latest Wisconsin mens soccer action on uwbadgers.com.