Senior defender Nick Caronna scored the game's only goal, then helped the Wisconsin mens soccer team extend its shutout shutout streak to four games with a 1-0 victory against Gonzaga on Friday evening during the UW-Milwaukee Panther Classic in Milwaukee.
Wisconsin (4-1-0) approached the match recognizing the challenge Gonzaga (2-2-0) posed. The No. 20 team had already defeated both then-No. 1 UC-Santa Barbara and No. 15 Washington this season.
With that in mind, the Badgers used every opportunity to their advantage. On an early corner kick in the 13th minute, Victor Diaz (Madrid, Spain) lofted the ball to the back post, where Cale Cooper (Madison, Wis.) redirected it to the near post. From there, Caronna (Brookfield, Wis.) scored his second career goal and first game-winning goal for Wisconsin.
The two teams were evenly matched during the first half with four shots each, but after halftime, Gonzaga pressed forward in an attempt to net an equalizer. The Bulldogs took nine shots in the final 45 minutes to UWs six.
We knew it was going to be a pretty physical and emotional game, head coach Jeff Rohrman stated after the match, and it certainly played to that script. But we had a number of excellent performances that the team should be proud of.
Throughout the 90 minutes of play, the Badgers maintained a strong defensive line to capture their fourth shutout in a row, the first time since September 6-15, 1996 that Wisconsin has had four straight shutout wins.
The teams commitment to defending is evident in the scores this season, Rohrman explained. Its all the little things that they do, like recognizing and correcting their mistakes. During the first half, we were giving Gonzaga too much space on our side. After halftime, we tightened up and prevented a tie.
This victory marks Coach Rohrmans 50th career win with the Badgers.
Wisconsin will look to extend its winning streak when it faces Drake (2-2-0) on Sunday, Sept. 16 at noon in Milwaukee.