Patience paved the way for the Wisconsin mens soccer team Saturday afternoon for a 1-0 shutout of visiting Big Ten opponent Northwestern in the Badgers last home game of the 2002 regular season.
Wisconsin true freshman Phil Doeh scored the game-winner with four minutes left to clinch the win and improve UWs record to 9-8-0 overall and 3-3 in the Big Ten Conference. Sophomore Noah Goerlitz tallied the assist for his first point of the season.
I thought our guys played quite well, Wisconsin head coach Jeff Rohrman said. In what could have been a frustrating afternoon, our team played with patience and persistence knowing it takes time to score goals. Northwestern defends well and was tough to break down.
Prior to the game, Wisconsin honored its seven-member senior class in front of nearly 600 Badger fans at the McClimon Soccer Complex. Seniors Valentine Anozie, Mike Epp, John McGrady, Christian Poppert, Aymar Sinaise and Perry Smith, in addition to former goalkeeper and current team manager Phil Ayoub, were all congratulated by the crowd in their last home game of their Wisconsin careers.
The Badger seniors would then lead their team throughout 85 minutes of scoreless action as Wisconsin outshot Northwestern 10-5 in the first period and 11-1 in the second period heading into the closing minutes of the match.
The Badgers finally broke the stalemate on Goerlitzs attempted shot-on-goal in the 86th minute which Doeh re-directed mid-air towards the upper corner of the NU net to beat Wildcat keeper J.D. Martin for the 1-0 lead. The score was Doeh's sixth goal and third game-winner of the season.
Northwestern used several substitutions to slow down the clock in the last three minutes, while freshman Tito Lara, Northwesterns leading scorer, fired one last shot in the 88th minute in an attempt to tie the game. But like he had all afternoon, Wisconsin netminder Eric Hanson pulled down the ball for the save, the last of five in the game to ensure the win. The game marks Hansons fifth shutout of the season and career.
Martin collected six saves for the Wildcats who fall to 8-10-0 overall and 0-5-0 in the Big Ten. NU will wrap its season against Ohio State on Nov. 10 and Wisconsin finishes out the regular season on the road against in-state rival Marquette Saturday, Nov. 9 in Milwaukee, Wis. The Badger-Golden Eagle matchup starts at 1 p.m.
Looking ahead for the Badgers, Wisconsin travels to the 2002 Big Ten Championship tournament, hosted by Penn State, Nov. 14-17 in University Park, Pa.