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Badgers set to open up with Virginia Tech



The Wisconsin men's soccer team opens the 2009 season this weekend by playing host to the 21st annual Middleton Sports and Fitness Invitational at the McClimon Complex. The Badgers will face Virginia Tech in their season-opening match, which is set for 7:30 p.m. Friday, following an opening game between Western Illinois and UW-Milwaukee.

Game 1 | Virginia Tech (0-1-0) vs. Wisconsin (0-0-0)
Date: Friday, Sept. 4
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Location: Madison, Wis.
Site: McClimon Memorial Track/Soccer Complex (4,500)
Admission: $5 adults, $2 students/children/seniors
Promotions: Free team poster giveaway
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All-Time Series: First meeting

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Virginia Tech
Roster | Schedule | Stats | News | Game Notes

The Week Ahead
The Wisconsin mens soccer team opens the 2009 season at home this weekend by playing host to the Middleton Sports and Fitness Invitational at the McClimon Complex. The Badgers face Virginia Tech at 7:30 p.m. Friday before wrapping up the four-team event by battling Western Illinois at 2 p.m. Sunday.

UW-Milwaukee also will take part in this weekends event, facing Western Illinois at 5 p.m. Friday and Virginia Tech at 11:30 a.m. Sunday.

Online Coverage Expands
Fans unable to attend the Badgers matches in person can stay close to the action at home thanks to a pair of additions to online coverage of home games at UWBadgers.com. Live stats will continue to be offered for every home game in 2009, but fans can now enjoy a more in-depth presentation of the events on the field through GameTracker from CBS College Sports.

In addition, soccer fans will be able to follow along with the live, interactive in-game blogs that have become popular for a number of Badgers sports on UWBadgers.com.

Become an Insider
Sign up now to receive the Badger Mens Soccer Insider, a service of BuckyMail, and stay current with the latest news and features on the UW mens soccer team. Subscribers will receive a weekly e-mail with news and links to all things Badger soccer, directly to their inbox. You can sign up for BuckyMail and the Badger Mens Soccer Insider by clicking @badgermail"> --> here .

Looking Back
Wisconsin begins the regular season on the heels of a pair of exhibition contests in which it went 1-1. The Badgers opened the preseason with a sportid=122&storyid=18759"> --> 1-0 overtime win over UW-Parkside on Aug. 24 and then dropped a sportid=122&storyid=18823"> --> 2-1 decision to No. 3 Akron on Saturday (Aug. 29) at the National Soccer Festival in Fort Wayne, Ind.

Off the Top
Fridays match will serve as the Wisconsin debut of new Badgers head coach staffid=1074"> --> Todd Yeagley , who spent the past six seasons as an assistant at Indiana, his alma mater. Yeagley is the fifth head coach in UW history.

The Badgers welcome back seven starters from last years 9-7-3 team, including three All-Big Ten Conference picks in seniors Scott Lorenz, Taylor Waspi and Eric Conklin. A total of 14 letterwinners are back for the Badgers in 2009.

Of those returning starters, all are upperclassmen and six are seniors.

In all, the Badgers return four of their top five point-scorers from a season ago and nine of the 12 players who registered at least one goal in 2008.

The Badgers matchup with Virginia Tech will be the first-ever meeting between the teams.

Wisconsin owns a 6-3-1 advantage in the all-time series with Western Illinois, with the Leathernecks scoring a 1-0 win in the teams last meeting, Oct. 1, 2008 in Madison.

Bill Reddan, who is credited with starting mens soccer as a club sport at UW in 1964 and served as the teams first varsity head coach from 1977 to 1981, will be enshrined in the UW Athletic Hall of Fame on Friday at the Camp Randall Memorial Sports Center. The mens soccer program also will honor Reddan between games Sunday at the McClimon Complex.

Previewing the Opponent: Virginia Tech
The Hokies head into the weekend coming off a loss in their season-opening match, in which they fell, 3-1, to Maryland-Baltimore County on Tuesday.

Virginia Tech enters the 2009 season looking to bounce back from a 5-13-1 record last year that included an 0-8-0 mark in Atlantic Coast Conference play and a ninth-place finish in the final ACC standings.

Last season, the Hokies gave up nearly twice as many goals (47) as they scored (24).

Virginia Tech begins its first season under head coach Mike Brizendine, a former assistant who took over the program following the resignation of Oliver Weiss in June. Weiss led the Hokies to the College Cup in 2007.

The Hokies have been picked to finish last in the ACC for the second-straight year but return seven starters from last years extremely young squad.

Among those is senior James Gilson, who led the team with six goals last season and had also had team-high totals in assists (4) and shots (34). Gilson had the teams lone goal in Tuesdays loss to UMBC.

About the Series
Wisconsin and Virginia Tech have never met in mens soccer. All-time, the Badgers own a 2-4-0 mark against current members of the Atlantic Coast Conference.

About the Event
This years Middleton Sports and Fitness Invitational will be the 21st edition of the annual event, which has been held each season since 1989. The Badgers have won the invitational in five of the last nine seasons, including 2008 by defeating Santa Clara and Dayton, and a total of 10 times overall. UW-Milwaukee also has claimed the event three times (1995, 1999, 2003).

Badgers in Season-Openers
Against Virginia Tech, the Badgers will seek to win back-to-back season-opening games for the first time since the 2001 and 2002 seasons. Wisconsin is just 2-4-0 in its six season-openers since then, including last years 2-1 overtime victory over Wright State. Overall, the Badgers are 19-11-2 in season-opening matches.

This year marks the eighth time in 10 seasons and 21st time overall that Wisconsin has opened a season at home.

Yeagley Makes Wisconsin Debut
Todd Yeagley became the fifth head coach in Wisconsin mens soccer history when he was hired on Dec. 18, 2008. He will make his head coaching debut when the Badgers take on Virginia Tech on Friday, looking to become the fourth UW head man to start his career with a victory.

Heres a look at how UW coaches have fared in their first game at Wisconsin:

Bill Reddan (1977): W, 3-1 (at UW-Parkside)
Jim Launder (1982): L, 0-1 (vs. Cleveland State)
Kalekeni Banda (1997): W, 3-2 OT (vs. Davidson)
Jeff Rohrman (2002): W, 4-0 (vs. Iona)

Reddan Headed for the Hall
Wisconsin soccer pioneer Bill Reddan is among those who will be inducted to the University of Wisconsin Athletics Hall of Fame this weekend as part of the Class of 2009.

The schools first mens soccer head coach, Reddan is credited with founding the UW program first as a club sport and then guiding the Badgers after the program achieved varsity status in 1977.

Reddan compiled a 49-27-9 record in his five seasons as head coach, led the Badgers to their first-ever NCAA tournament berth in 1981 and served as an assistant on UWs 1995 NCAA championship team.

Network Connection
For the third-consecutive season, the Badgers will have at least two of their regular-season matches televised nationally by Big Ten Network. UWs home game against defending Big Ten champion Michigan State (Oct. 11) will be carried live by the network, while the Badgers conference finale at Penn State (Oct. 31) will air on a tape-delay basis on Nov. 1.

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