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Previewing the Opponents: Non-conference Part 2



As part of our coverage leading up to the Wisconsin mens soccer teams season-opening match on Sept. 4, UWBadgers.com takes a look at the five non-conference opponents the Badgers will face once the tournament portion of the schedule is complete.

Illinois-Chicago Flames
Sept. 30 | Flames Field | Chicago, Ill.
Conference: Horizon League
Head Coach: John Trask , 5th season
Record at School: 48-18-19 (.676)

2008 Record: 12-4-6
2008 Conference Record (Finish): 6-1-1 (1st)
Postseason: NCAA Sweet 16
Final RPI: 22
Final NSCAA Ranking: 11

Starters Returning/Lost: 8/3
Letterwinners Returning/Lost: 13/4

All-Time Series: Wisconsin leads, 4-1
Last Meeting: sportid=122&storyid=12008"> --> Wisconsin 2, Illinois-Chicago 1 (Oct. 28, 2007)

Outlook: The Flames enter the season ranked 10th and its easy to see why with most of the pieces still in place from the 2008 club that advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16 for the second-consecutive season. UICs senior class has the experience of playing in a total of nine NCAA tournament games, and the Flames return two-thirds of their scoring output from last season. The match with the Badgers will pit UW head coach Todd Yeagley against a former mentor in UIC head man John Trask, who was an assistant at Indiana during Yeagleys playing days with the Hoosiers.

Key Stat: UICs defense limited opponents to just 7.6 shots per game last season, and the Flames scored twice as many goals (36) as they allowed (18).

Player to Watch: Jovan Bubonja | It will be hard for the senior to top his performance from 2008, when he recorded a 0.63 goals-against average and posted 10 shutouts in 21 games on his way to first-team All-America honors.

&DB_OEM_ID=22500&SPID=13685&SPSID=110083"> --> UW-Green Bay Phoenix
Oct. 14 | Santaga Stadium | Green Bay, Wis.
Conference: Horizon League
Head Coach: SPSID=110089&SPID=13685&DB_OEM_ID=22500&ATCLID=3754394&Q_SEASON=2009"> --> Tom Poitras , 6th season
Record at School: 45-39-13 (.531)

2008 Record: 6-7-5
2008 Conference Record (Finish): 4-2-2 (2nd)
Postseason: None
Final RPI: 109
Final NSCAA Ranking: NR

Starters Returning/Lost: 7/4

All-Time Series: Wisconsin leads, 16-15-1
Last Meeting: sportid=122&storyid=15388"> --> Wisconsin 2, UW-Green Bay 0 (Oct. 20, 2008)

Outlook: While Green Bay returns seven starters from last years squad, the Phoenix must repalce their top performers on both offense and defense. Gone are goalkeeper Adam Stikl and his 0.99 goals-against average, as well as Tosaint Ricketts and his team-high 18 points (8 goals, 2 assists). Stikl played every minute of the season in goal last season, while Ricketts accounted for 38 percent of the Phoenixs scoring. Aside from Ricketts, only four other players found the back of the net last season, and they all return for 2009. The Badgers come to town just four days after the Phoenix host Illinois-Chicago as part of a difficult stretch of their home slate.

Key Stat: The Phoenix managed just one win in their first seven games last season thanks to a brutal stretch that included three losses to ranked teams by a combined three goals.

Player to Watch: SPSID=110088&SPID=13685&DB_OEM_ID=22500&ATCLID=3754407&Q_SEASON=2009"> --> J.C. Banks | The junior is Green Bays top returning scorer from a year ago, when he tallied four goals and an assist on his way to first-team All-Horizon League honors.

Marquette Golden Eagles
Oct. 21 | McClimon Complex | Madison, Wis.
Conference: Big East
Head Coach: Louis Bennett , 4th season
Record at School: 7-37-9 (.217)

2008 Record: 3-10-4
2008 Conference Record (Finish): 1-8-2 (8th, Blue Division)
Postseason: None
Final RPI: 135
Final NSCAA Ranking: NR

Letterwinners Returning/Lost: 20/0
Starters Returning/Lost: 9/0

All-Time Series: Wisconsin leads, 16-9-7
Last Meeting: sportid=122&storyid=15318"> --> Wisconsin 1, Marquette 0 (Oct. 15, 2008)

Outlook: The Golden Eagles start the season with nine starters back from last years squad, including goalkeeper Matt Pyzdrowski (1.17 GAA) and junior forward Anthony Colaizzi (4 goals, 3 assists). Head coach Louis Bennett returns for his fourth season with the Golden Eagles.

Key Stat: Marquette scored only 12 goals in 17 games last season (0.71 per game), including just six in their 11 Big East Conference contests.

Player to Watch: Anthony Colaizzi | Colaizzi was the sole Golden Eagle to tally double-digit points in 2008, and finished his sophomore season with a team-high four goals. He also led the team in shots and had a team-best three assists.

Northern Illinois Huskies
Oct. 28 | McClimon Complex | Madison, Wis.
Conference: Mid-American
Head Coach: Eric Luzzi , 1st season
Record at School: 0-0-0 (.000)

2008 Record: 11-16-4
2008 Conference Record (Finish): 4-1-1 (2nd)
Postseason: None
Final RPI: 52
Final NSCAA Ranking: NR

Letterwinners Returning/Lost: 17/7
Starters Returning/Lost: 9/6

All-Time Series: Wisconsin leads, 16-10-0
Last Meeting: sportid=122&storyid=15535"> --> Wisconsin 1, Northern Illinois 0 (Oct. 29, 2008)

Outlook: After a second-place finish in the MAC last season, the Huskies return nine starters, including Brad Horton, Ben Thomas and Josh Karsten, their top three point-scorers. Eric Luzzi takes over as head coach of the Huskies following Steve Simmons departure to Oregon State.

Key Stat: The Huskies posted a combined 10 wins at home and at neutral sites last season but managed just one victory in eight road matches (1-4-3).

Player to Watch: Brad Horton | A sophomore midfielder, Horton led the Huskies in goals (6), points (15), and game-winning goals (4) in 2008. He was named to both the College Soccer News All-Freshman Second Team and All-MAC second team.

UW-Milwaukee Panthers
Nov. 5| Engelmann Field | Milwaukee, Wis.
Conference: Horizon League
Head Coach: Jon Coleman , 4th season
Record at School: 17-32-10 (.373)

2008 Record: 4-10-5
2008 Conference Record (Finish): 1-5-2 (7th)
Postseason: None
Final RPI: 161
Final NSCAA Ranking: NR

Letterwinners Returning/Lost: 15/4
Starters Returning/Lost: 8/3

All-Time Series: UW-Milwaukee leads, 13-12-6
Last Meeting: sportid=122&storyid=15252"> --> Wisconsin 4, UW-Milwaukee 0 (Oct. 8, 2008)

Outlook: The Panthers stumbled down the stretch of the 2008 season with a very young team but have higher expectations for 2009 with the return of eight starters. Milwaukee loses just two of its top-10 scorers who accounted for a total of seven points on offense, but the Panthers are tasked with replacing the pair of keepers who accounted for every minute in goal last season. The Panthers are picked to finish seventh in the nine-team Horizon League for the second-consecutive season.

Key Stat: Seven games into the 2008 season, the Panthers owned a 3-2-2 record. They managed to win just one of their final 12 matches, however, going 1-8-3 to finish the season.

Player to Watch: Eric Frazier | After starting 16 games as a freshman, Frazier returns as the Panthers top returning scorer for 2009. He had team-high totals in goals (6) and assists (4) and fired more than twice as many shots (65) as any of his teammates on his way to second-team All-Horizon League honors last year.

Men's Soccer vs Michigan State
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