Junior Andy Miller scored his first career goal in the 32nd minute, but it was not enough as the Wisconsin mens soccer team fell to No. 14 Northwestern 3-1 Thursday morning in the first quarterfinal of the Big Ten championship at Old College Field.
Sophomore goalkeeper Alex Hortwath (Woodbine, Md.) made six saves for the Badgers, who finish the season with a record of 6-7-6. Wisconsin out-shot Northwestern 17-16 in the contest and had 10 corner kicks to Northwesterns four.
David Roth led the way for the Wildcats (12-3-4), scoring two goals on his only two shots. Mark Blades also added a goal and an assist.
Northwestern took a 1-0 lead just 59 seconds into the contest when Roth tallied his first goal of the match. The Wildcats played a corner kick from the left side that was cleared out of the box by the Badgers, however Roth was there to collect the ball and drive a shot over Horwath.
Miller (Barrington, Ill.) then tied the game at 1-1 in the 32nd minute with his first career goal. The Northwestern defense was able to clear Wisconsins corner kick, however Miller was there to meet the clearance and beat Northwestern goalkeeper Justin Pines with a low shot to the left corner through traffic.
Northwestern then scored the two decisive goals in the second half. The Wildcats took a 2-1 lead when Roth connected on a shot from the left wing in the 52nd minute for his second goal of the match and sixth of the season.
Blades extended the Northwestern lead to two goals in the 66th minute with his third goal of the season. As the ball bounced around in the UW box, Blades was able to finish with a diving header into the left side of the net.
The Badgers generated multiple chances late in the game in an attempt to pull even, including a tough low shot by Eric Conklin (Rockford, Ill.) and a late free kick by Victor Diaz (Madrid, Spain), however they were unable to find the back of the net again.
Northwestern advances to face the winner of the second quarterfinal between Ohio State and Michigan Friday in the semifinals of the Big Ten championship.