The UW mens soccer team jumps into competition, officially beginning its 2004 campaign this Sunday, August 22, at the McClimon Soccer Complex. This years match up of the Badgers and the Loyola Ramblers is sixth meeting for the teams, but because it is exhibition, will not count in their series. The game begins at 7 p.m. and is free to the general public.
Two seasons with Jeff Rohrman at the helm for the Badgers has re-established Wisconsin as a contender in the soccer world as the program continues to move forward.
Wisconsins 2004 roster reflects the youth and promise of Rohrmans tenure. Nineteen of the 25 athletes are freshmen or sophomores. Still, the 12 returning sophomores now have a season of collegiate experience and the seven true freshmen bring a wealth of talent and prep accomplishments.
I am never one to let us use our youth as an excuse, said Rohrman. I think we are going to be a very talented team. This class coming in will certainly provide us with a great deal of depth and increase our talent pool overall. All of the players are capable of competing right away and over the course of their four years will have a tremendous impact on the program. Im looking forward to some great things from them.
The UW will enjoy a solid core of leadership anchored by five seniors, Eric Hanson, Noah Goerlitz, David Martinez, Nick Van Sicklen and Jed Hohlbein. The latter three were the 2003 leading scorers while Hanson made 88 saves, third-most in the conference, and Goerlitz clocked more minutes than any other midfielder.
The Wisconsin mens soccer program has made great strides in the past two seasons and hasnt shown any signs of stopping.
In 2001 the team earned its first national ranking (22) since 1997 and rose as high as third in the Great Lakes regional rankings. Some key victories fueled the UWs season, including a sweep of the Badgers season-opening home tournament, the Rocky Rococo Classic, and the Nike Gonzaga Soccer Classic. The Badgers also swept both events MVP honors. In their Big Ten home-opener the No. 22 Badgers upset No. 20 Penn State, 2-1, and finished the regular season tied for second in the conference
Last season, the Badgers compiled an 11-10-1 record and advanced to the semifinals of the Big Ten Tournament for the first time since 1998. The 2-0 upset over Ohio State sent the UW to battle Indiana. After 80 minutes of scoreless action, the Hoosiers snuck one in the net and held on for the win.
Wisconsins 300th program win came at the expense of the Marquette Golden Eagles on Oct. 15. The 2-1 win was the first time in nine years the Badgers were able to defeat the in-state rival. Wins 298 and 299 were also important wins for the Badgers, UW marked back-to-back shutouts over Penn State and UW-Milwaukee on the road.
The Badgers open regular-season play hosting the Wisconsin Big Toe Soccer Invitational, Labor Day weekend at the McClimon Soccer Complex. In the 16th year of the event, two teams, Evansville and Dayton, will make their event debut. On Friday, Sept. 3 Dayton and UW-Milwaukee begin tourney play at 5 p.m., followed by the Badgers and Evansville at 7:30 p.m. Games conclude on Sunday, Sept. 5, with UW-Milwaukee and Evansville playing at noon and the UW and Dayton closing the event with a 2:30 p.m. contest.