The Wisconsin mens soccer team returns to Madison for an intense conference match-up against rival Michigan (7-4-2, 0-2-0 Big Ten) at 7 p.m. Friday Oct. 22 at McClimon Soccer Complex. Wisconsin is coming off a 1-1 road trip and is currently 6-7-0 and 1-2-0 Big Ten.
A win would bring the Badgers back up to .500, where they have not been since mid-September. It would also put Wisconsin back in the hunt for a Big Ten title with just two conference games left to play against Michigan State and Northwestern.
Michigan has always been a formidable opponent for the Badgers since they joined the Conference in 2000. The Wolverines currently lead the all-time series against Wisconsin, 4-1-0. In late October 2003, the Badgers fell to the Wolverines 4-1 and are looking for redemption.
Although Michigan is having a successful year, the team has failed to win a conference match up. The Wolverines losses have come against Indiana and Michigan State.
Michigan returns three 2003 Big Ten Conference selections, Knox Cameron, Pete Dzubay and Mychal Turpin, to its 2004 squad. Cameron, 2003s Big Ten Player of the year, is sidelined for the season, however, due to injury, leaving a hole in Michigans offense.
What has resulted for Michigan is a more balanced attack. Mychal Turpin leads the team with five goals, Bobby Trybula has four and Chris Galinski, three. Five other players have scored one goal each. They will provide a challenge for Wisconsins defense, which shut out DePaul on Sunday.
The Wolverine backfield is relatively inexperienced, yet, is only allowing an average of 1.15 goals per game. Two goalkeepers Pete Dzubay and Joe Zawacki are sharing time for Michigan this season, and the Badgers are unsure who will take the net Friday. Dzubay, a 2003 First Team All-Big Ten honoree, has started five games and is 4-1 with two shutouts. Senior captain Joe Zawacki, who was injured last season, has eight starts and a 3-3-2 record.
Either keeper will have their hands full with senior tri-captain Nick Van Sicklen (Madison, Wis.), who is coming off a stretch of impressive performances. In the last four games, Van Sicklen has five goals, two assists and was named the Offensive Player of the Week in the Big Ten as well as the College Soccer News National Player of the Week.
Once the Badgers get by Michigan, they will hit the road once again for games against UW-Green Bay at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday Oct. 27, and Michigan State at 11 a.m. Sunday Oct. 31. Stay tuned for uwbadgers.com for all your Wisconsin mens soccer updates.