Even setting aside the insight Wisconsin mens soccer head coach Todd Yeagley can provide on his alma mater, 13th-ranked Indiana comes to town Friday for the Badgers Big Ten Conference opener as a very familiar foe.
The Badgers have faced Indiana more than any other opponent in their history, with 37 meetings between the clubs since UW began sponsoring mens soccer as a varsity sport in the 1977 season.
The Hoosiers claimed a decisive 8-1 win in Bloomington that year and then won by a 6-0 margin when they made the return trip to Madison in 1978. In fact, Indiana won the first seven meetings between the teams by a combined 28-3 margin before the Badgers earned a scoreless tie with the Hoosiers in Madison in 1984.
It wasnt until 1991 that the Badgers finally defeated Indiana, scoring a 1-0 win in Madison in the inaugural Big Ten Conference match between the clubs. Wisconsin went on to win the regular-season conference title that season, but Indiana returned the favor with a 2-0 win in the first Big Ten tournament.
Exactly two weeks later, Indiana scored another 2-0 triumph in Bloomington to knock the Badgers out of the NCAA tournament.
That wasnt the teams first meeting in the Big Dance Indiana also ended the Badgers first-ever NCAA run with a 5-1 first-round win in 1981 and it wouldnt be the last match in the series to hold significant consequence.
The teams met again in the 1993 NCAA Tournament, but this time, the Badgers turned the tables on a Hoosiers team that included an All-American junior named Todd Yeagley.
Riding the momentum of a 3-1 regional semifinal win over Notre Dame in the first NCAA tournament contest staged at the McClimon Complex, the Badgers headed to Bloomington and knocked off the Hoosiers, 1-0, to snap IUs run of five-consecutive berths in the NCAA quarterfinals.
The Badgers then fell a week later to Virginia, 3-0, in their first-ever quarterfinal match.
The Hoosiers got their revenge a year later in the Big Ten tournament, pulling out a 1-0 win over UW, but the Badgers returned the favor in 1995 with one of the biggest home wins in school history.
That day, Oct. 13, the Badgers scored a 2-0 win over Indiana in front of 2,470 fans, the largest crowd to ever see a mens game at the McClimon Complex. Wisconsin, of course, went on to win its first national title that year.
Its unlikely that any UW team will be able replicate the Badgers magical run to the 1995 NCAA title which included five-consecutive shutouts in the tournament but this years squad is at least hoping to relive the excitement from that years match with the Hoosiers.
Five of UWs 10 largest mens soccer crowds have come in games played against Indiana, and the Badgers would like to add a sixth to that list on Friday.
The UW mens and womens teams are asking fans of all ages to Pac the Mac for the doubleheader that begins with the womens squad battling Purdue at 5 p.m. and then concludes with the Badgers and Hoosiers going head to head in mens action at 7:30 p.m.
Youth soccer players who wear their team jersey will receive free admission to both matches, as will UW students who present a valid student ID. There will be numerous giveaways throughout the night, including free t-shirts for UW students, courtesy of Big Ten Network.
Fridays match will be the 100th Big Ten Conference game for both Wisconsin and Indiana. The Badgers are 42-48-9 (.470) since the league began sponsoring soccer in 1991, including a 21-22-2 (.489) mark at the McClimon Complex.
The Hoosiers hold a 14-2-2 mark against Wisconsin in regular-season conference matches over that span, including a 6-1-1 advantage in games played at the McClimon Complex, which opened in 1993.
To the Back
Yeagley has announced that junior defender Cale Cooper will miss the rest of the season after sustaining multiple knee injuries in the second half of UWs loss to San Jose State (Sept. 13). Cooper started each of the Badgers first four games on defense.
Senior Eric Conklin, who had moved to a more offensive spot in the midfield this season, dropped to the back line as a replacement for Cooper at last weekends Milwaukee Panther Invitational.
A second-team All-Big Ten pick as a defender last season, Conklin returned to form and helped anchor a UW defense that allowed just one goal in two games. For his efforts, which included the assist on Brandon Millers game-winner against Oakland on Friday, Conklin earned a spot on the Panther Invitationals all-tournament team.
Home Sweet Home
The Badgers return home this weekend for the first time since hosting the Middleton Sports and Fitness Invitational to open the season on the weekend Sept. 4-6. Fridays match with Indiana is the first of just two home contests for UW in a stretch of 10 games that began Sept. 11 and ends on Oct. 17.
After taking on the Hoosiers, the Badgers will play four of their next five on the road, with all five of those matches against teams that have been ranked in at least one major poll this season.
Indiana marks the third of six-consecutive opponents for the Badgers that played in the 2008 NCAA Tournament, a run that finishes against Michigan State on Oct. 11 in all, eight of UWs next nine opponents have been ranked in at least one major poll at some point this season UW is 1-3-2 against ranked teams over the past two seasons despite missing the majority of UWs training last week because of flu-like symptoms, senior goalkeeper Alex Horwath collected 13 saves on the weekend including a season-high eight against UC Santa Barbara and picked up his 16th-career shutout Friday against Oakland Horwath earned the fourth Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week honor of his career on Monday senior midfielder Brandon Miller also was named the leagues offensive player of the week to give the Badgers a sweep of the Big Tens weekly awards junior midfielder Jon Rzepka made his first start since Oct. 20, 2007 when he was in the starting 11 against Oakland (Sept. 18) Rzepka missed the entire 2008 season with a foot injury and has played in all six UW games this season senior forward Scott Lorenz is expected to make his 45th-consecutive start Friday against Indiana the Badgers have added junior midfielder Miles Marmo, a transfer from the University of Denver, to their roster Marmo will wear No. 29