In one sense, its a break for the Wisconsin mens soccer team.
In another, its just the beginning of a month in which the Badgers are slated to play nine games in 30 days.
Either way, the Badgers, who have seen strong showings in Big Ten contests against Indiana and Michigan evaporate into a 0-1-1 league record, take a brief respite from conference play to host Western Illinois at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the McClimon Complex.
Wisconsin seeks to improve on its 4-1-1 non-conference record, which includes a 1-0-1 mark in non-league home games. More importantly, however, the Badgers are in search of their first victory since downing Cal State Northridge 2-0 on Sept. 12. In its three games since, the UW is 0-2-1.
Were going to have a busy month of October with a lot of games packed in, and thats really the nature of soccer, UW head coach staffid=350"> --> Jeff Rohrman said. 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.
Junior athid=6384&deptid=122"> --> Alex Horwath has been strong in goal for the Badgers and leads the Big Ten with 42 saves on the season, while also boasting a goals-against average of 1.15. He fell just 24 seconds short of his third shutout of the season in Saturdays tie with Michigan, a game in which he made six saves.
Offensively, the Badgers have enjoyed a variety of weapons up front, led by junior forwards athid=5596&deptid=122"> --> Scott Lorenz and athid=5964&deptid=122"> --> Pablo Delgado . Lorenz leads the team in goals (3), shots (25) and shots on goal (14), while Delgado has a team-best three assists to go along with a pair of goals, giving him the team lead in points (8).
Senior athid=5598&deptid=122"> --> Kenny Dix , who tallied the Badgers goal against Michigan on Saturday, and junior athid=6006&deptid=122"> --> Taylor Waspi have each scored twice this season, as well.
The Leathernecks (6-2-1 overall) enter the mid-week contest on the heels of a 1-0 loss to 24th-ranked Oakland in their Summit League opener.
After rattling off six consecutive wins to begin the season, Western Illinois finds itself in a three-game winless streak after going 0-1-1 in UW-Green Bays Nike Classic two weeks ago and then falling to Oakland on Saturday. WIU has outscored its opponents 12-6 on the season, and is averaging 1.33 goals per contest. Martin Browne, Jr. leads the Leathernecks with four goals and four assists, while three other players have tallied two goals each.
The teams last met in 2006, with the Badgers claiming a 1-0 win in their first head-to-head matchup with the Leathernecks in 18 years. The Badgers are 4-1 all-time against WIU in games played in Madison, including a 1-0 mark at the McClimon Complex.
The start of the Big Ten season has seen the Badgers fall in overtime to Indiana, 3-2, after twice tying the game in regulation and settle for a 1-1 tie with Michigan after allowing a penalty-kick goal to the Wolverines with 24 seconds remaining in the second period.
The Badgers next crack at their first Big Ten win since Oct. 15, 2006, comes Sunday in a road contest at Michigan State (4-4-0, 1-1-0 Big Ten). Wisconsin has split its last nine meetings with the Spartans, including a 3-0 loss last year in Madison.
Weve got four more Big Ten matches, Rohrman said. Id like to think that were capable of winning any of those matches.
- sportid=122&storyid=15142"> --> Rohrman addresses the media
- sportid=122&storyid=15139"> --> This Week in Badger Men's Soccer
- sportid=122&storyid=15120"> --> Late goal forces Badgers to settle for tie with Michigan