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UW hosts Ohio State in search third-straight Big Ten win

ON WISCONSIN <b>Senior Eric Conklin has scored in consecutive games for the Badgers</b>
Senior Eric Conklin has scored in consecutive games for the Badgers

Oct. 24, 2009


MADISON, Wis. - Winners of three of its last four games, the Wisconsin men's soccer team jumps back into Big Ten Conference play Sunday by hosting No. 25 Ohio State in a 2 p.m. match at the McClimon Complex. The Badgers (5-6-2, 2-2-0) and Buckeyes (8-3-4, 2-1-0) are part of a three-way tie with Indiana for second place in the Big Ten standings, with all three squads trailing leader Penn State (2-1-1) by a point.

Game 14 | #25 Ohio State (8-3-4, 2-1-0) vs. Wisconsin (5-6-2, 2-2-0)
Date: Sunday, Oct. 25
Time: 2 p.m.
Location: Madison, Wis.
Site: McClimon Complex (4,500)
Tickets: $5 adults, $2 youth/seniors
Online: GameTracker
All-Time Series: Ohio State leads, 13-10-1

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Ohio State
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Online Coverage Expands
Fans unable to attend the Badgers’ matches in person can stay close to the action at home thanks to a pair of additions to online coverage of home games at UWBadgers.com. Live stats will continue to be offered for every home game in 2009, but fans can now enjoy a more in-depth presentation of the events on the field through GameTracker from CBS College Sports.

In addition, soccer fans will be able to follow along with the live, interactive in-game blogs that have become popular for a number of Badgers sports on UWBadgers.com.

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Looking Back
The Badgers scored their third win in four matches when Eric Conklin scored for the second-consecutive game and Jon Rzepka scored his first career goal to power the Badgers to a 2-0 win over in-state rival Marquette on Wednesday. Junior goalkeeper Ryan Vint also picked up his first career shutout in his first career start.

Sunday's contest is the Badgers' second-consecutive home game, but just their sixth of the season at the McClimon Complex. UW is 3-1-1 at home this season, including 1-1-0 in conference matches.

Ohio State will be the fourth ranked opponent the Badgers have faced this season. After downing then-No. 16 Northwestern in their last Big Ten match, Wisconsin is now 1-1-1 against ranked teams on the year.

Wisconsin seeks a third Big Ten win for the first time since going 3-2-1 in the league during the 2006 season.

Ohio State will be the eighth team that qualified for the 2008 NCAA Tournament the Badgers will face this year. UW owns a 3-3-1 record against the seven NCAA teams it has faced so far.

The Badgers’ win over Northwestern gave them their second-straight victory in an overtime game, improving UW’s record in overtime contests to 2-1-2.

After losing three straight by a combined score of 7-0 between Sept. 25 and Oct. 4, the Badgers have now won three of their last four matches, outscoring those opponents by a 6-3 margin.

The Badgers scored a combined five goals in their first nine games but have tallied six goals over the course of their last four matches.

The Badgers' 2-0 win over Marquette on Wednesday gave UW consecutive wins for the first time this season. The Badgers are now unbeaten in their last seven meetings with the Golden Eagles, and have not lost to Marquette in Madison since 1999.

Over the past two seasons, the Badgers are 4-1-0 against their three in-state rivals (Marquette, Milwaukee, Green Bay).

Scouting the Opponent: Ohio State
The Buckeyes enter Sunday's matchup coming off a scoreless draw with West Virginia in a midweek non-conference clash Wednesday. Last week, Ohio State handed then-No. 24 Penn State its first Big Ten loss in a 2-1 win that improved the Buckeyes' league record to 2-1-0.

Ohio State has played four-consecutive home games, going 2-1-1 with a 1-0 loss to UIC on Oct. 14.

The Buckeyes have scored 16 goals in 15 games, led by Austin McAnena and Doug Verhoff, who have tallied four apiece.

A total of eight Ohio State players have scored for the Buckeyes this year, but McAnena, Verhoff and Chris Hegngi have accounted for 11 of the team's 16 scores.

Matt Lampson has been the Buckeyes' top goalkeeper, starting 11 of the team's 15 games and posting six shutouts. He owns a 0.69 goals-against average and an .852 save percentage.

About the Series
Sunday's match between Wisconsin and Ohio State will be the 25th meeting between the clubs, with the Buckeyes holding a 13-10-1 advantage in the all-time series.

The teams' history dates back to UW's inaugural season of 1977, when the Badgers scored a 2-1 win over the Buckeyes in Bloomington, Ind. The teams have met each season since 1991, when the Big Ten began sponsoring men's soccer.

Ohio State has won five straight meetings in the series, with four of those five coming by a one-goal margin.

The Badgers' last win over the Buckeyes in Madison came in a 1-0 victory on Nov. 4, 2001. Ohio State has won three straight meetings between the teams at the McClimon Complex.

All-time, the Badgers own an 4-6-0 record against Ohio State in games played in Madison. That includes a mark of 3-5-0 in contests held at the McClimon Complex.

In his 13th season, John Bluem owns an 11-3 record against the Badgers as head coach at Ohio State. That includes a 10-2 record in regular-season games and a 5-1 mark in games played in Madison.

UW’s Todd Yeagley, in his first season, will face Ohio State for the first time as a head coach.

Last Meeting
Last season, Brandon Miller put the Badgers on the scoreboard first in the 50th minute, but No. 22 Ohio State scored twice to take a 2-1 win on Oct. 18, 2008.

Here’s Jonny
Junior midfielder Jon Rzepka continued the road back from a foot injury that kept him sidelined for the entire 2008 season at the Milwaukee Panther Classic.

Rzepka was in the starting 11 for the Badgers’ Sept. 18 matchup with Oakland, marking his first start since Oct. 20, 2007.

Rzepka has played in all six of UW’s games this season after making his return to the field in the Badgers’ season-opener against Virginia Tech on Sept. 4.

Sweet Home, Milwaukee
Wisconsin’s 19th appearance in the 36-year-old Milwaukee Panther Invitational (Sept. 18-20) was another productive trip to Milwaukee for the Badgers, who went 1-0-1 on the weekend and earned a runner-up finish in the event.

The Badgers’ 1-1 draw with UC Santa Barbara was UW’s first-ever tie in the event and moved the Badgers’ record in the tournament to 25-12-1 all-time.

The Badgers also improved their all-time mark at Engelmann Field to 27-16-6.

Feels Like the First Time
Freshman Ata Ozbay made the first start of his career Sunday against San Diego State, and has now appeared in all four of the Badgers’ matches in his rookie season.

Sophomore Mark Roos, also a forward, is the other UW player to make his debut in the starting lineup this season. He has started all four games for the Badgers.

Also making their Badger debuts against San Diego State (Sept. 13) were sophomore goalkeeper Jamal Habibi, who played 27 minutes in relief of an injured Alex Horwath, and sophomore forward Ross Seagram, who scored his first goal with UW in the second half.

Penalty Killers
The Badgers have gone 31 consecutive matches without being awarded a penalty kick, dating back to Oct. 13, 2007. The last time a UW player converted a penalty kick attempt into a goal was one game earlier, when Sho Fujita netted a PK in a 1-1 tie with Milwaukee on Oct. 10, 2007.

The Badgers have given up five penalty-kick goals since their last try from the penalty spot, including three game-winning scores and a game-tying goal. Two of those game-winners came in consecutive games at the hands of San Diego (Sept. 11) and San Diego State (Sept. 13).

The Badgers are 0-3-2 in the matches in which they’ve given up a PK during the streak. Here’s a breakdown of those games:

10/20/07: Penn State (1st half) -- T, 3-3 (2OT)
9/27/08: Michigan (2nd half, 00:24 left) -- T, 1-1 (2OT)
10/5/08: at Michigan State (2nd half, 6:00 left) -- L, 1-0
9/11/09: at San Diego (1st half) -- L, 3-0
9/13/09: at San Diego State (2nd OT, 00:31 left) -- L, 3-2 (2OT)

On the Board
Mark Roos’ game-winning goal in the 90th minute of the Badgers’ win over Western Illinois (Sept. 6) snapped a scoreless drought of 199 minutes, 57 seconds for the Badgers. The streak was the longest dry spell to open a season in school history.

The Badgers’ longest opening scoring drought prior to this season was 152:46, which came when UW opened the 1998 season with a 1-0 loss to Northern Illinois (9/4/98) and then scored in the 63rd minute of a 4-1 loss to Richmond (9/6/98).

Horwath Honored
Senior goalkeeper Alex Horwath posted back-to-back shutouts to open the season, blanking both Virginia Tech (Sept. 4) and Western Illinois (Sept. 6), to earn Defensive MVP honors at the Middleton Sports and Fitness Invitational.

Horwath, who has moved into fifth place on the Badgers’ all-time shutouts list with 15 for his career, was then named Big Ten Defensive Player of Week by the league for the week of Sept. 7.

Yeagley Makes Wisconsin Debut
Todd Yeagley became the fifth head coach in Wisconsin men’s soccer history when he was hired on Dec. 18, 2008. He made his head coaching debut when the Badgers took on Virginia Tech on Sept. 4, becoming the first UW head man to start his career with a tie.

Here’s a look at how UW coaches have fared in their first game at Wisconsin:

Bill Reddan (1977): W, 3-1 (at UW-Parkside)
Jim Launder (1982): L, 0-1 (vs. Cleveland State)
Kalekeni Banda (1997): W, 3-2 OT (vs. Davidson)
Jeff Rohrman (2002): W, 4-0 (vs. Iona)
Todd Yeagley (2009): T, 0-0 2OT (vs. Virginia Tech)

Reddan Heads to Hall
Wisconsin soccer pioneer Bill Reddan was among those inducted into the University of Wisconsin Athletics Hall of Fame on Sept. 4 as part of the Class of 2009.

The school’s first men’s soccer head coach, Reddan is credited with founding the UW program first as a club sport and then guiding the Badgers after the program achieved varsity status in 1977.

Reddan compiled a 49-27-9 record in his five seasons as head coach, led the Badgers to their first-ever NCAA tournament berth in 1981 and served as an assistant on UW’s 1995 NCAA championship team.

Network Connection
For the third-consecutive season, the Badgers will have at least two of their regular-season matches televised nationally by Big Ten Network. UW’s home game against defending Big Ten champion Michigan State (Oct. 11) will be carried live by the network, while the Badgers’ conference finale at Penn State (Oct. 31) will air on a tape-delay basis on Nov. 1.

Badgers Picked for Fifth
Wisconsin has been tabbed to finish in a tie for fifth place in the Big Ten Conference this season, according to the league’s annual preseason coaches’ poll. Indiana was picked to win the league, which features four teams ranked in the preseason NSCAA Top 25.

2009 Big Ten Preseason Men’s Soccer Poll
1. Indiana
2. Northwestern
3. Michigan State
4. Ohio State
5. Penn State, Wisconsin
7. Michigan

McCrudden One to ‘Keep an Eye On’
Freshman defender Kyle McCrudden has been named to College Soccer News’ annual list of ‘100 Freshman to Keep an Eye On.’ Last season, then-freshman Colin Monasterio was named to the same list and went on to earn Big Ten All-Freshman Team honors in his rookie year at UW.

Examining the Exhibitions
Wisconsin begins the regular season on the heels of a pair of exhibition contests in which it went 1-1. The Badgers opened the preseason with a 1-0 overtime win over UW-Parkside on Aug. 24 and then dropped a 2-1 decision to No. 3 Akron on Saturday (Aug. 29) at the National Soccer Festival in Fort Wayne, Ind.

NSCAA/adidas Top 25
College Soccer News Top 30
SoccerTimes.com Top 25

Big Ten Conference standings

Big Ten Conference
NCAA Men’s Soccer
Big Ten Network
College Soccer News
Soccer America
National Soccer Coaches Association of America

Men's Soccer vs Marquette
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