June 23, 2014
The Badgers enjoyed their share of success in 2013-14 and now UWBadgers.com is honoring the best student-athletes, teams and performances of the year. Over the next few weeks, we'll unveil the best of the Badgers in five categories: Big Ten Medal of Honor (June 16), Athletes of the Year (June 17-21), Team Achievements of the Year (June 22-27), Games of the Year (June 28-July 5) and Freshmen of the Year (July 13-18).
Today we feature the Wisconsin men's soccer team's NCAA tournament berth as a nominee for the Team Achievement of the Year.
• 2013-14 In Review
MADISON, Wis. -- In a year filled with program feats, individual accolades and record-breaking performances, the 2013 season for the Wisconsin men's soccer team culminated in the program's first NCAA tournament berth since 1995.
Opening the season by winning five of their first six games, the Badgers hinted early that the campaign might be something special. Indeed it was, as UW would go on to post the fifth-most wins in program history (14), while also extending its home unbeaten streak longer than any other team in the country (14).
Ending a drought of nearly two decades, the Badgers reached the Big Dance and were awarded a home match against familiar foe Milwaukee in the first round of the NCAA tournament. UW did not let the opportunity go to waste, finishing off its undefeated home slate by seizing a 1-0 win over the Panthers.
The final home victory gave UW the longest active NCAA win streak (six)--a stretch in which UW posted six consecutive shutouts--and extended the nation's longest active home unbeaten streak to 14 matches, which will be carried over into its third season in 2014.
UW finished with a 4-2-0 record in the Big Ten and earned the No. 2 seed for the conference tournament. That accomplishment marked just the fifth time in the 21-year history of the Big Ten tournament that the Badgers were seeded second or better.
Led by Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year Tomislav Zadro and Defensive Player of the Year AJ Cochran, the Badgers proved to be the league's offensive powerhouse last season. UW registered a conference-best 117 points, 39 goals and 1.86 goals per game, while finishing second in assists (39), assists per game (1.86) and third in shots (285).
Cochran became one of the program's most decorated players, earning NSCAA All-America honors and becoming UW's first-ever semifinalist for the Hermann Trophy.