The Wisconsin mens soccer team defeated Florida Atlantic 1-0 Sunday to claim the Rocky Rococo-Wisconsin Soccer Classic title and both Most Valuable Player awards, marking the third sweep in as many years for the Badgers.
Tournament Offensive MVP David Martinez scored the Badgers lone goal against the Owls, finishing the weekend with two goals and one assist. Wisconsin goalkeeper Eric Hanson, the tournaments Defensive MVP, collected three saves against Florida Atlantic and helped lead a Badger defense that shutout both Florida Atlantic and Iona College in the tournament.
It was a different type of match than what we saw Friday, head coach Jeff Rohrman said. We were physically exhausted. It was mentally and emotionally challenging to turn around and play, as it always is on Sundays when youve played on Fridays.
It was nice to win the tournament and win a couple of games, but we know we have to play better soccer. The guys need to rest a little bit and get back after it. I think they know that and theyll be ready come Friday (against Gonzaga).
Sunday afternoons match proved to be a physical battle between Wisconsin and Florida Atlantic. The Owls spread the field in a 4-5-1 formation on the field, making it difficult to penetrate towards the net for the Badger offense. Wisconsins attack pressured Owls goalie Anders Granstad with 12 shots throughout the first period without scoring, until midfielder Erol Goknur lofted the ball into the middle of the fray in front of Granstad and his goal. Connecting on the high pass, Martinez fired the ball into the back of the net for the 1-0 lead and game-winning goal with nine minutes left in the first period.
The second period saw a lesser battle between two exhausted teams working to create scoring opportunities, but capitalizing on none. The Owls outshot the Badgers 9-5, but the majority sailed wide. Hanson, determined to earn the shutout, made several soaring pickups and one save in the second period to keep the Wisconsin lead. In turn, Granstad collected four saves against the Badgers.
Following the Badger victory, the All-Tournament team was announced (see below) and Wisconsin collected its Classic title trophy and MVP awards. The Badgers then lined up to meet their fans and treated the audience to a poster-signing event.
The Badgers leave the Midwest next weekend for a cross-continent trip to Seattle, Wash., and the Gonzaga Nike Soccer Classic Invitational. The Badgers face the host Bulldogs Friday afternoon at 3 p.m. (CT) and will play Oregon State Sunday at noon.
Rocky Rococo Wisconsin Soccer Classic Champions: Wisconsin Badgers
Rocky Rococo Wisconsin Soccer Classic All-Tournament Team:
Anders Granstad, Florida Atlantic University
Mike Rubin, FAU
Dave Kinneman, Iona College
Luke Shkreli, Iona
Scott Duhl, Western Michigan University
Jeff Hughes, WMU
Pat Wilson, WMU
Valentine Anozie, University of Wisconsin
Eric Hanson, UW
David Martinez, UW
Nick Van Sicklen, UW
David Martinez (two goals, one assist)
Eric Hanson (four saves and two shutouts)