The Wisconsin mens soccer team overcame a slow start to defeat the Valparaiso Crusaders 3-2 Saturday at Reddan Park in Verona, Wis. Badger freshmen came up big in the win, scoring all three of Wisconsin goals. Scores were tallied by Aaron Hohlbein, Hamid Afsari and Matthew Jelacic.
Valparaiso struck first, scoring in the seventh minute when senior attacker Adam Newell converted on a pass from teammate Jeremy Stacy to give the crusaders the early 1-0 lead.
I thought we started out a little bit sluggish today, conceding the first goal, Wisconsin head coach Jeff Rohrman said. But we responded real well.
The Badgers responded in the 36th minute when forward Erol Goknurs pass was deflected off a Valparaiso defender to Hohlbein who nailed the ball through to the back of the Crusader net to even the score.
Aaron Hohlbein had a great game, Rohrman said. He was dominant in the air and he was in the right place at the right time, but had the composure to get our first goal. He did very well in the back line and he really stepped up and played as good a game as he has in the past two to three weeks.
The Badgers and Crusaders were knotted through halftime but Wisconsin built on strong first-half play to break away in the second period.
The last 20 minutes of the first half I felt we had the better of the play, Rohrman said. We established the flow and the rhythm and I thought we were a little unfortunate not to come away ahead at halftime.
Wisconsin broke the tie late in the second half on a drive started by an Aaron Witchger corner kick. The freshmans kick landed to the left of Valpos goal where it was met by a crowd of Badgers and Crusaders. Through the mob, junior Jed Hohlbein found freshman William Bagayoko who dished the assist to Afsari for his first career goal and a Wisconsin lead.
The Badgers tacked on one more score in the 88th minute when Jed Hohlbein again provided assistance. This time he found Jelacic, who pegged the ball through the lower left corner past Valpos sophomore goalkeeper, Jeff Oleck, for the game-winner.
The Crusaders posted their second score with nine seconds remaining in the game when freshman defender Henrik Turk converted on a Mark Wolka assist.
I thought the second half we played pretty well, Rohrman said. I was a little disappointed we didnt close it out in conceding the goal late in the game, but for the most part, I felt we had the better of the play and created more chances
First Period: 2, VU, Adam Newell (Jeremy Stacy), 6:08; UW, Aaron Hohlbein (Erol Goknur), 35:16.
Second Period: 3, UW, Hamid Afsari (William Bagayoko, Jed Hohlbein), 72:45, Matthew Jelacic (Jed Hohlbein), 87:26; VU, Henrik Turk (Mark Wolka), 89:51.
Saves: UW, Eric Hanson 3; VU, Jeff Oleck 9