Senior Dirk Pearson scored two goals, while sophomore Brandon Miller added a goal and three assists to lead the Wisconsin mens soccer team to a 4-0 shutout over Northern Illinois on Wednesday evening at McClimon Soccer Complex.
Miller (Vadnais Heights, Minn.) became the first Badger to record at least five points in more than a year as the Badgers improved to 5-2-2 on the season. The last time a UW player had at least five points in a single game was Sept. 3, 2006 when Brian Bultman (Tucson, Ariz.) and Victor Diaz (Madrid, Spain) each scored hat tricks against IPFW.
Sophomore Alex Horwath (Woodbine, Md.) added to his shutout record, raising it to six shutouts in eight career games. He made a total of four saves against Northern Illinois (2-4-3) to help the team attain its fifth shutout in the last six games.
UW scored three goals in the first half against the Huskies. Pearson (South Barrington, Ill.) received a cross from Miller at the top of the box and drove a low shot toward the goal, where a defender deflected it into NIUs net in the 18th minute for Wisconsins first goal.
Less than ten minutes later, Miller dribbled the ball from midfield into the box and drilled the ball into the upper right corner of the goal from 15 yards out for his first goal of the season.
Miller sparked the UW offensive again in the 34th minute when he took the ball down the left side and found Pearson wide open in the 18-yard box. Pearson took his time, made a move to the outside and placed a shot to the far post for his second goal of the game.
With his two goals, Pearson raised his career goal total to six. He scored two goals in each of his previous seasons with the Badgers.
Late in the second half, the Badgers scored their final goal when freshman Bryan Gerster (Dacula, Ga.) received a ball from Miller at midfield and outran two defenders for a breakaway. The Huskies goalkeeper, Joe Zimka, came out to challenge him, but Gerster cut around him to the right and knocked the ball into the open net.
Tonights game marked the first time since Sept. 3, 2006 that the Badgers have scored at least four goals in a game. UW had not scored more than two goals in a game yet this season.
Wisconsin will play its Big Ten home opener against Michigan State on Sunday at the McClimon Soccer Complex. Kickoff will be at noon with live coverage provided by the Big Ten Network.