Second-half goals by Scott Lorenz and Victor Diaz lifted the UW mens soccer team to a 2-0 win over Penn State on Sunday (Oct. 15) at McClimon Soccer Complex.
With the win, the Badgers (9-4-2, 3-1-1) put themselves in a position to play for at least a share of the Big Ten title when they face off against Indiana on Friday, Oct. 27. Indiana, at 3-0-1, currently holds a half-game lead over Wisconsin atop the Big Ten standings. The game, UWs last of the regular season, will be played at 7:00 p.m. in Bloomington, Indiana.
After an evenly played first half in which neither Wisconsin nor Penn State (4-8-2, 2-2-0) saw many great scoring opportunities, the Badgers came out firing in the second half.
In the contests 61st minute, Zack Lambo (Crystal Lake, Ill.) played the ball through to the right side on offense. Victor Diaz (Madrid, Spain) acted as a decoy, looking like he was going to play Lambos pass, but instead letting the ball through to freshman Brandon Miller (Vadnais Heights, Minn.).
Miller took the ball near the right corner of the 18-yard box, dribbled to the middle, and passed it to a streaking Scott Lorenz (Barrington, Ill.) on the left. Lorenz took care of business from there, knocking the ball into the nets lower right corner. The goal was the first of the freshman Lorenzs bright career.
Riding the momentum of the games first goal, the Badgers did not wait long to strike again.
Shortly after Lorenzs goal, in the games 63rd minute, Aaron Hohlbein (Middleton, Wis.) played a ball from Wisconsins defensive half of the field up to Diaz. Diaz pushed the ball up and created some space on the dribble, and eventually got off a shot from just inside the 18-yard box.
The ball went towards the lower right corner of the goal post. Penn State goalkeeper Conrad Taylor was able to get a piece of the ball, but not enough to stop it from trickling into the goal.
The goal was Diazs forth of the season, and his first since he recorded a hat-trick against IPFW on Sept. 3. The goal also moved Diaz up to 11 total points on the season, putting him at first place on the team past Lambo, whose assist earlier in the game gave him his 10th point of the season.
Jake Settle (Cedar Rapids, Iowa) put forth his typical solid performance in patrol of the net. The senior goalkeeper came up with two saves on his way to shutting out the Nittany Lions. The shutout was Settles eighth of the season, moving him up to No. 5 in UWs all-time single-season shutout list (recorded since 1980). Settle moved past Nick Pasquarello, one of the teams current assistant coaches.
The Badgers now have a week to prepare for their next contest. They head to Dekalb, Illinois next Sunday (Oct. 22) to face off against Northern Illinois (11-3-1). Kick off is set at 2:15 p.m.