Wisconsin men's soccer head coach staffid=350"> --> Jeff Rohrman addressed the media Monday during UW Athletics' weekly press conference to review the Badgers' 1-1 tie with Michigan over the weekend and look ahead to this week's contests against Western Illinois and Michigan State.
Video of Rohrman's session with reporters can be found mid=2560"> --> here . A transcript of Rohrman's comments is available below:
OPENING COMMENTS: Thank you, Justin. Yeah, you alluded to the tie on Saturday. It was, I had to remind myself on Sunday that it was a tie because, actually, it felt like a loss. Any of you that saw the game or heard of the game, you know that we played very, very well for probably 88 minutes of that match. And unfortunately, we let our guard down, probably made a couple of bad decisions down the stretch. And in the game of soccer, if youre only up one goal, anything can happen late, and it did against us.
So you know, it was a little surprising to me because it certainly, as Ive alluded to, you know, pretty much all year, we have a really veteran team, a seasoned team, a mature team, so I was a little surprised that we didnt handle that situation better than we did. And for sure I expect us to do a little bit better. As I told them after the game, I expect us to have leads late in games from this point on, and then to handle that, you know, a little bit differently.
So, but so far were sitting at 4-2-2, got some great wins. Weve had some great play out of a number of our players. And you know, I think on Wednesday, with Western coming in, its a quality opponent, a regional opponent for us, and, you know, theyre going to be one of the top teams in the Summit conference, so its going to be important for us to play well. And then ahead to the weekend, were at Michigan State, who is coming off a great win at Penn State 4-3.
So things are going well for us. We just got to, you know, were going to have a busy month of October with a lot of games packed in, and thats really the nature of soccer. As I tell a lot of the guys, its important to have a short memory sometimes because the sting of a tie from Saturday, you want to try to erase as quickly as you can. And I heard somebody mention to Bret about trying to play as soon as you can, and fortunately we do have that opportunity on Wednesday, so.
QUESTION #1: Yeah, youre so close to getting that first Big Ten win, just to get you over the hump. You know, something like that could actually linger with a club, couldnt it
ROHRMAN: Yeah, yeah, but again, I think one of the qualities of this group is that its, we have a lot of mature, experienced guys. And again, I think theres a lot of positives that came out of that game. And even the weekend before, when we lost a tough game at Indiana in overtime and had, you know, two great chances late in the game to win that, you know, with us hitting the post and then taking one off the line, I think the guys came away from there feeling, hey, theres a lot of good things that weve been doing.
I still thought, even from that Indiana game, there were some things in the attack we could have done a little bit better, because we scored on a couple of set pieces, and Id like us, with the personnel we have, to be a little bit more dangerous in the attacking half. I thought on Saturday we did some of those things. We addressed it during the week.
You know, and, yeah, it does sting. It does sting that you walk away and its a tie, you know. But Ive been a part of teams where mentally and emotionally you let that linger into the overtime, and all the sudden that tie becomes a loss, you know. And so, you know, I give our guys some credit, because when that happens, you know, 24 seconds from the end, theres a lot of times where that lingers into that overtime and youre not focused, youre not concentrated, youre not putting in the effort you need to to sustain it through that overtime.
So our guys battled through that. And I know they walked away, you know, feeling it was a loss, but it was a tie, and they know that we got to, you know, a lot of good things that were doing, and we just got to keep our nose to the grindstone.
QUESTION #2: I know you have Western coming up, but the Big Ten continues. How many wins do you think youre going to need here to really get yourself in a good position come post-season play
ROHRMAN: For the tournament You know, typically, over the course of the year, the team thats able to gather, you know, three wins, four wins usually wins the Big Ten regular season outright. So you know, weve got four more Big Ten matches and, you know, Id like to think that were capable of winning any of those matches.
The one thing I always say about mens soccer in the Big Ten is theres a ton of parity. Any team on any given day can beat another team. You know, we dont have any weak teams in this conference. I think thats what makes it special and makes it one of the most competitive, if not the most competitive, conference in the country for mens soccer.
So we know we have, you know, we have the capability to do well, and weve just got to keep moving forward.