The UW mens soccer team, nationally ranked at No. 22, will put its first-place standing in the Big Ten on the line Sunday (Oct. 8), when it heads to Columbus, Ohio to face rival Ohio State. Kickoff takes place at 1 p.m. at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium.
The Badgers (7-3-2, 2-0-1), who find themselves in the national rankings for the first time since 2002, will attempt to go unbeaten for their seventh straight game. Such a feat has not been accomplished by Wisconsin since their national championship in 1995, when they won their last seven games of the season.
Perhaps more importantly, UW will attempt to strengthen their position atop the Big Ten standings. With a 2-0-1 conference record, the Badgers are currently a half-game ahead of Penn State (2-1-0). Wisconsin has only three games remaining on the conference schedule, giving Sundays game against the Buckeyes (5-5-2, 1-1-0) added significance.
The Badgers will enter Sundays match up in the midst of a hot stretch. Wisconsin has yet to lose a game since its one-goal losses to SMU, Washington, and Creighton early in the season. In the most recent NSCAA national rankings, released Oct. 3, SMU finds themselves at the very top, ranked No. 1, with Washington not far behind at No. 9.
Included in UWs streak was a 1-0 win over previously-unbeaten Illinois-Chicago, who were ranked No. 7 at the time of the contest.
Wisconsin goalkeeper Jake Settle (Cedar Rapids, Iowa), who on Oct. 2 was named Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week, has a streak of his own. The senior has gone 436:39 without letting in a goal, a time-span that has covered four-straight UW shutouts.
Ohio State has been performing at a high level of-late as well. They have won their last two games, including last Sundays (Oct. 1) victory over Penn State. Currently right in the middle of the Big Ten standings at fourth place, Ohio State is looking to make a late-season run at the conference.
The Buckeyes lead the all-time series against Wisconsin, 11-9-2. They have won the last two contests, including a 2-1 overtime win last year in Madison.
Wisconsin and Ohio State will face off at 1 p.m. at Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium on Sunday (Oct. 8).