A strong second half powered the Wisconsin mens soccer team over DePaul to give the Badgers a 2-1 victory Wednesday night. Junior forward Jed Hohlbein tallied both goals for the cardinal and white.
I thought overall we battled real well from a pretty poor first half, Wisconsin head coach Jeff Rohrman said. I thought [in the first half] our concentration wasnt where it needed to be. I thought our movement wasnt as crisp and as sharp it should be.
Our movement and energy was so much sharper [in the second half] and that allowed us to keep the ball when we needed to keep it, to defend when we needed to defend. And as a result, we looked like the team that we should look like.
Midway into the first half, the Badgers (9-8-0, 1-3-0 Big Ten) started the scoring, when a DePaul foul gave Wisconsin a free kick. Freshman Aaron Witchger took the ball and lofted it toward the Blue Demon goal where Hohlbein took the pass and headed it past net-minder Jeff Klitzke.
The Blue Demons (7-8-0, 3-2-0 Conference USA) countered just a minute later when Kevin Riemer connected with teammate Edwin Arreola, who split the Badger defense and found the back of Wisconsins goal to even the score.
In the second half it was Hohlbein again who exploited the Blue Demons defense. The game-winning drive started in the 53rd minute when sophomore Alec Neal switched the ball to Hamid Afsari. Afsari lofted the ball toward Hohlbein, who headed the ball out of Klitzkes reach.
Hohlbein leads Wisconsin with nine goals and 22 points this season. Three of his scores have been game-winners.
The second half was much better on the offensive side as well as the defensive side, Rohrman said. And as a result we looked like an entirely different team in the second half, so I was pleased to see that, and hopefully we can carry that into the weekend against Michigan State.
Wisconsin is next in action against Michigan State at noon on Sunday at the McClimon Soccer Complex.
First Period: 2, UW, Jed Hohlbein (Aaron Witchger), 25:48; DU, Edwin Arreola (Kevin Riemer), 26:46.
Second Period: 1, UW, Jed Hohlbein (Hamid Afsari, Alec Neal), 52:27.
Saves: UW, Eric Hanson 2; DU, Jeff Klitzke 4.