Playing the season-opener in 100-degree temperatures, the Wisconsin mens soccer team fell to No. 7 Southern Methodist 1-0 in overtime Friday evening on the first day of the Great Western Downtown/Golden Hurricane Classic at Hurricane Soccer & Track Stadium in Tulsa, Okla.
The Badgers (0-1) held SMU (1-0) scoreless for 98:14 before Leone Cruz scored from 20 yards out on a deflection to end the game.
Despite the loss, head coach Jeff Rohrman was pleased that his team made an early-season statement that it can play with the best teams in the country.
I thought we played very well tonight against a high-caliber team, Rohrman said. It was a very even game and we had chances to put it away.
I told the guys, if we play the same way for the rest of the season, we are going to get a lot of wins.
Wisconsin looked very strong in the first half, matching the Mustangs shot-for-shot. However, SMU goalkeeper Matt Wideman was up to the challenge, stopping first half attempts on goal by Brandon Miller (Vadnais Heights, Minn.) and Victor Diaz (Madrid, Spain).
Southern Methodist began to gain an edge in shots as the game went on, but Rohrman said the final 20-9 shot-advantage that SMU held was not indicative of how the game played out.
Most of their shots were not of the most-dangerous variety, Rohrman pointed out. They hit a few posts, but I think we had more quality chances.
The game remained scoreless until the 8:14 mark of overtime when Cruz gave SMU a 1-0 win off of an assist from Jeff Harwell.
UW goalkeeper Jake Settle (Cedar Rapids, Iowa) finished the game with three saves while his SMU counterpart Wideman stopped two shots.
Freshman Pablo Delgado (Madrid, Spain) led UW in shots with three. SMU's Paulo Da Silva recorded a game-high six shots.
Wisconsin will next turn its attention to Tulsa, which opens its 2006 season against UW-Milwaukee Friday night in the second game of the Golden Hurricane Classic. The Badgers and Golden Hurricane face-off at 2:30 p.m. Sunday in Tulsa, Okla. following the match between UW-Milwaukee and SMU, which is set for noon.
Live stats for both of Sundays games can be found at tulsahurricane.cstv.com.