Uneasy footing made any type of offensive attack difficult as the Wisconsin mens soccer team battled Northwestern to a 0-0 tie in rainy Evanston on Sunday. The tie marks the first time a squad led by Wisconsin head coach Jeff Rohrman has walked away without earning a decision.
Today I have to give a lot of credit to our backs, Rohrman said. They played really well on a slick and bumpy surface.
Leading the Badger defense was junior goalie Eric Hanson who collected nine saves on the day, including many from close-range.
Eric held everything, Rohrman said. He kept us in the game when [Northwestern] had some pretty dangerous opportunities.
Despite the treacherous surface, Wisconsin (9-9-1, 1-4-1 Big Ten) created a couple chances on offense that nearly broke the tie.
In the first half, freshman Matthew Jelacic beat a Northwestern back but shot the ball just wide of the Wildcat goal.
Matts shot came off of pure hustle and determination, Rohrman said. He really battled a defender and almost was able to give us a goal.
Wisconsin senior midfielder Erol Goknur nearly put the Badgers ahead in the second half when he curled a shot from close range, but was turned away by Northwesterns goaltender Justin Pines.
Northwestern (6-6-6, 0-3-3 Big Ten) also created several opportunities, shooting 19 times, with nine of those coming on-goal. Wisconsin countered with 18 shots and seven on-goal.
The difficult surface limited our attack today, Rohrman said. But thats something were going to have to get better at.
The Badgers conclude regular season play at Noon on Sat. Nov. 8 against Valparaiso at Reddan Park in Verona, Wis.
First Period: None.
Second Period: None.
Saves: UW, Eric Hanson 9; NU, Justin Pines 7