The Wisconsin mens soccer team defeated Gonzaga 2-0 Friday afternoon at the Bulldogs own Gonzaga Nike Soccer Classic to post UWs third straight shutout in as many games.
We played as complete a game as we have put together so far this season, Wisconsin head coach Jeff Rohrman said. This was a demanding game, mentally, emotionally and physically, but the guys remained disciplined and kept their heads throughout.
Wisconsin forward and team co-captain Valentine Anozie opened up scoring for the Badgers at the 27-minute mark of the first period off assists from Erol Goknur and Nick Van Sicklen. After receiving the pass from Goknur, Van Sicklen sent a blind through ball to Anozie who slotted the ball to the far right side of the net to beat Gonzaga keeper Mike McCarthy for the 1-0 lead.
Nearing the half-time break, Van Sicklen found the ball on a breakaway and drove towards the Bulldog net for the next Wisconsin goal, but McCarthy pulled in the save. Van Sicklens next breakaway proved too much for Gonzaga however.
The referees whistle had barely started the second period when the Wisconsin forward again found himself racing towards McCarthy. Wisconsin goalkeeper Eric Hanson put a far ball out to true freshman Alec Neal down the sideline who obliged Van Sicklen with a through ball behind the Gonzaga defensemen. The UW sophomore fired the ball to the upper left corner of the net out of McCarthys reach for the game-winner and his second goal of the season.
The Badger win totally offensive though, as the Wisconsin defense helped shutdown any Bulldog scoring opportunities, while Hanson, this weeks Big Ten Co-Defensive Player of the Week, ensured his third shutout with a strong three-save performance.
Wisconsin faces Oregon State Sunday at 12 p.m. in the Badgers second game of the Gonzaga Nike Soccer Classic and Rohrman believes his team is ready for the game.
Our goal is to not play to a lesser standard than we have already set, Rohrman said. The team is extremely committed to a good showing on Sunday against Oregon State.