Reid Johnson (Mequon, Wis.) and Pablo Delgado (Madrid, Spain) helped the UW mens soccer team notch a 2-0 win over Northwestern, and remain undefeated in the Big Ten, by each scoring their first goals of the season on Sunday at McClimon Soccer Complex.
After a scoreless first half, Wisconsin (6-3-2, 2-0-1) was able to get on the scoreboard in the 54th minute. Andy Miller (Barrington, Ill.) passed the ball from midfield to William Bagayoko (Baton Rouge, La.). Bagayoko received the ball on the right side of the field, and passed it cross field to Johnson. Johnson then used a soft touch to loft the ball over the goalkeeper and into the right corner of the Wildcats (8-3-0, 1-2-0) goal.
The Badgers struck again in the 72nd minute. Brandon Miller (Vadnais Heights, Minn) cleared the ball from UWs defensive half. Victor Diaz (Madrid, Spain) received the ball at midfield and played it to Pablo Delgado. Delgado took care of it from there, dribbling past a defender and booting a low, line-drive kick into the lower left side of the net.
Goalkeeper Jake Settle (Cedar Rapids, Iowa) came up with his usual solid performance, saving two shots, and getting his third straight shutout.
The Badgers are currently in the midst of a 346:39 shutout streak, all with Settle in net. They also had a 325:44 shutout streak earlier in the season, with Settle accounting for the vast majority of time at goalkeeper.
Wisconsin is undefeated through their initial three conference games for the first time since 1996.
They also boast a five-game overall unbeaten streak, their first such streak since 2001, when they opened the season 5-0-0.
The UW win, the result of a great overall team game, was highlighted by several notable individual performances.
As great as it was for Reid Johnson to come up with his first goal of the season, he very easily could have had two more.
In the seventh minute, Johnson received the ball with his back to the goal. He turned around and immediately shot the ball, and it sailed just left of the net.
Johnson had another chance in the 59th minute, when he split two defenders and shot the ball, hitting the outside left pole of the goal.
Kenny Dix (Atlanta, Ga.) played a great game as well. Dix was in the middle of the action for much of the game, and he set up his teammates with great scoring opportunities on several occasions.
Senior Co-Captain Hamid Afsari (Whitefish Bay, Wis.) came up with one of Wisconsins biggest plays in the game.
In the 68th minute, with the Badgers up just 1-0, the Wildcats had the ball in UWs goalie box. Settle came out of the net to challenge the ball, but Northwestern was able to quickly pass the ball off to the opposite end. Geoff Fallon of the Wildcats shot the ball on an open net, but Afsari arrived just in the nick of time, sliding to his right to make a great block.
Wisconsin will now shift its focus to its Wednesday (Oct. 4) home contest against Western Illinois. The game will start at 6 p.m. at McClimon Soccer Complex.