The Wisconsin mens soccer team opens up its 2002 regular season this weekend as the Badgers host the 13th annual Rocky Rococo-Wisconsin Soccer Classic at the McClimon Complex.
Wisconsin welcomes three new opponents to the tournament as Iona, Florida Atlantic and Western Michigan all descend on Madison for the Classic. Starting at 5 p.m. on Friday, Western Michigan faces Florida Atlantic in game one, followed by game two between host Wisconsin and Iona at 7:30.
The tournament action continues Sunday at noon for game three between Western Michigan and Iona, while the Badgers will wrap up the Classic in game four against Florida Atlantic at 2:30.
This weekends Classic also marks first-year head coach Jeff Rohrmans inaugural regular-season game at the helm of the Badgers. Rohrman and his assistant coaches Jon Szczepanski and Nick Pasquarello will look to keep Wisconsins winning tradition alive in the Classics 13th year.
In 1989, the Wisconsin Badgers kicked off an impressive 14-win season with the first ever Wisconsin Soccer Classic. Now, the Rocky Rococo-Wisconsin Soccer Classic stands as one of the Midwest's foremost in-season collegiate soccer tournaments. Held at McClimon, the Classic annually tests the Badgers against some of the country's finest soccer programs.
In 2001, Wisconsin swept the competition to earn the tournament title after first downing St. Francis 3-0, then Alabama A&M 3-1. Both of these teams won their respective games against Northern Illinois. After claiming the classic championship, Wisconsin's Dominic DaPra garnered the offensive MVP award for his five-goal tourney performance, while teammate Moriba Atiba Baker picked up the defensive MVP award for his shot-stopping prowess in net.
Last season's awards and honors mark the fifth time the Badgers have swept both the title and the MVP awards, while throughout the history of the classic, Wisconsin has used the home field advantage to claim seven of the 11 tournaments in which a champion has been crowned, 10 tourney defensive MVPs, and seven offensive MVPs.
Following Sundays game between Wisconsin and Florida Atlantic, the 2002 Classic All-Tournament team will be named, in addition to the Offensive and Defensive Most Valuable Players. A Badger poster-signing event for Wisconsin fans will be held after the Classic with free posters of the 2002 mens soccer senior class.