Nov. 9, 2011
Badgers prepare to face Michigan in Big Ten tournament
Wisconsin (9-7-2, 4-2-0) travels to Ann Arbor, Mich., on Wednesday, Nov. 9, to face Michigan (5-13-1, 1-5-0) in the first round of the Big Ten tournament. Wednesday’s winner will play the winner of the Ohio State/Penn State matchup on Friday, Nov. 11, at 2:30 p.m.
Wisconsin vs. Michigan: 3-10-3
Wisconsin vs. Michigan in Ann Arbor: 1-4-1
Wisconsin vs. Michigan in Big Ten Tournament: 0-3-1
Wisconsin earned its first-ever victory over Michigan in Ann Arbor on Oct. 9, when it defeated the Wolverines 2-1. Tomislav Zadro scored in the ninth minute and Josh Thiermann netted the eventual game-winner in the 42nd to give the Badgers the win. Despite being outshot, 23-6, Wisconsin’s defense was able to hold the Wolverines to just one goal.
In the Big Ten
Wisconsin is 85-71-19 all-time in Big Ten games and 50-57-10 since 1991, the year the Big Ten officially recognized men’s soccer. Against current Big Ten opponents, UW holds a record of 75-87-20 in all games played. UW’s best record is against Northwestern (25-9-4), while it has fared the worst against Indiana (4-32-5).
The Badgers’ win over Penn State on Nov. 5 gave them four regular season Big Ten wins, marking the most league wins since the 1995 season. That year, UW was crowned the Big Ten and NCAA champions.
The league schedulers must have known something, as the final Big Ten game of the regular season determined the Big Ten champion. After Ohio State lost to Indiana on Saturday and the Badgers defeated Penn State, the league title boiled down to the outcome of the Northwestern/Michigan game. A win by Northwestern would give the Wildcats sole possession of first place, while a loss or tie would result in co-champions.
Northwestern took control of its own destiny, scoring the only goal of the game late in the second half and winning its first-ever Big Ten title. The Wildcats’ win moved them back into first place, while Ohio State dropped to second and Wisconsin finished third.
Wisconsin’s loss against Northwestern on Oct. 23 snapped its three-game Big Ten win streak. UW opened league play with wins over Indiana (Oct. 2), Michigan (Oct. 9) and Michigan State (Oct 16), marking the first time since 1995 that Wisconsin has opened league play with three consecutive wins.
On Sunday, Oct. 2, the Badgers won their first Big Ten opener since the 2006 season when they beat Michigan, 2-1, in overtime in Madison. UW is 9-9-2 in Big Ten openers since 1991. The Badgers went 7-0-0 in Big Ten openers from 1991-1997.
Around the league -- as of Nov. 7, 2011
Northwestern finished the Big Ten season in first place with an unblemished 4-0-2 record. Wisconsin and Ohio State tied for second with a league record of 4-2-0, but the Buckeyes’ victory over the Badgers gave them the tie-breaker and No. 2 seed in the tournament. Wisconsin earned the No. 3 seed, while Indiana claimed fourth place with a 3-1-2 league record. Michigan State finished the year fifth with a 2-2-2 record, Michigan came in sixth with a 1-5-0 record and Penn State failed to record a win, ending the season 0-6-0 in league play.
Big Ten dribbles …
Indiana wrapped up the regular season with a league-best 33 goals, 34 assists and 100 points … Michigan led the league with 300 shots … Northwestern is unbeaten in its last nine games … Indiana’s Eriq Zavaleta leads the league with 21 points … Zavaleta and OSU’s Chris Hegngi lead the league with nine goals apiece … UW’s Tomislav Zadro leads the league with seven assists … Indiana’s Alec Purdie has a league-best four game-winners … PSU’s Andrew Wolverton has a league-best 0.59 goals against average
Badgers at the Big Ten tournament
UW posts an all-time record of 21-22-5 at the Big Ten tournament. The Badgers were co-champions with Indiana at the tournament back in 1995-the same year they won the NCAA title. The title in 1995 marks the only tournament title in Wisconsin soccer history.
Dating back to the 1999 season, UW has failed to score a goal nine times in the last 12 opening round matches at the tournament. Two of those matches have resulted in draws, while the other seven have gone down as losses. Additionally, the Badgers have been outscored, 10-0, in those nine games.
The Badgers have not scored a goal at the tournament since 2007 when Andy Miller netted the lone UW goal in a 1-3 loss to Northwestern.
Last season at the tournament
The Badgers advanced to the second round of the tournament last season courtesy of a penalty kick shootout. After playing Ohio State to a double-overtime scoreless draw, UW advanced on penalty kicks with a 5-4 advantage. Once again, however, the Badgers were unable to score in the second round as they were ousted by Michigan, 1-0.
All five of Wisconsin’s penalty kicks were successful in the shootout. Current Badgers Tennyson, McCrudden, Prince and Zahirovic converted to advance past Ohio State in the first round. Sophomore goalkeeper Max Jentsch was the winning goalie in UW’s opening round victory.
Last time out
Wisconsin earned its four Big Ten win of the season with a 1-0 victory over Penn State. Tomislav Zadro lined up to take a penalty kick in the 110th minute of action to give the Badgers their first double overtime victory of the season. Max Jentsch earned his fourth shutout of the season, after recording eight saves.
In Wisconsin’s last six games, the Badgers have either been shutout or have shut their opponent. Saturday’s win over Penn State was the Badgers’ sixth shutout of the season. On Oct. 30, Wisconsin’s shutout loss to Ohio State marked the third time the Badgers were shutout in October and first time on their home field. Before playing at Green Bay on Oct. 19, the Badgers had not suffered a shutout loss all season. In those three shutout defeats, UW has been outscored, 5-0. Meanwhile, the Badgers’ last three wins have come in shutout fashion. In addition to the 1-0 win over Penn State, UW earned a 1-0 win over Michigan State on Oct. 16 and a 2-0 victory at Milwaukee on Oct. 26.
Michigan enters the Big Ten tournament in the midst of a three-game losing streak. The Wolverines wrapped up the regular season with a 1-0 loss to Northwestern, fell to Michigan State, 1-0, on Oct. 30 and dropped a 2-1 decision to San Diego State on Oct. 22. Michigan’s last win came on Oct. 18, when it defeated then-No. 4 Akron, 1-0, in overtime.
A year ago, Michigan won the Big Ten Tournament and posted two wins in the NCAA tournament before falling to Akron in the semifinal round. Michigan was the Big Ten's first College Cup participant since Ohio State took runner-up honors in 2007.
Head coach Steve Burns is in his 12th season. The only coach the Wolverines have ever known, Burns was a NSCAA National Coach of the Year Finalist in 2010. The Wolverines welcomed 12 newcomers to the field in 2011 after losing eight letterwinners from the 2010 team.
Who to watch for
Fabio Pereira leads Michigan with 13 points (4g, 5a), while Etienne Lussiez is second with nine points (4g, 1a). Together the duo has scored 21 of the Wolverines 63 points and eight of their 22 goals. Goalie Adam Grinwis enters Wednesday’s game with a 5-11-1 record.
More points please
In 18 games played this season, the Badgers have scored 68 points, 13 more than all of 2010. Eleven members of the team have scored a point this season, while Tomislav Zadro leads the team with 19.
Junior Tomislav Zadro’s team-best 19 points are tied for second in the Big Ten. The midfielder’s seven assists lead the league, while his six goals are tied for fifth. Zadro’s 19 points are the most for a Badger since the 2008 season when Scott Lorenz finished with 10 goals and three assists for 23 points. Zadro recorded a 10-game point streak, from Sept. 4-Oct. 9. He led the Badgers with four goals and seven assists during that time.
RPI rankings -- as of Nov. 8, 2011
Wisconsin’s win over Penn State bumped them back up to 38th in this week’s RPI. Indiana leads the Big Ten with a No. 19 ranking, while Northwestern is just below the Badgers at No. 41.
NSCAA Coaches Poll -- Nov. 8, 2011
New Mexico held on to its top spot in the final NSCAA Coaches Poll of the season. In fact, all four top spots remained the same. Indiana remains in the No. 9 spot, while Northwestern moves into the rankings at No. 25.
Regional rankings -- Nov. 8, 2011
UW remains moves up to the eighth spot in this week’s NCSAA Great Lake Regional Rankings. The Badgers fell from the fifth spot on Oct. 18 to the 10th spot in the Oct. 25 poll, where they remained on Nov. 1. Wisconsin’s No. 5 ranking was its highest this season. Wisconsin opened the season 10th in the rankings, before falling out of the rankings in the Sept. 27 poll. UW earned the 10th spot in the Oct. 4 poll and moved to sixth in the Oct. 11 poll.
The Badgers put together a five-game unbeaten streak from Sept. 16-Oct. 2. On Sept. 16, in Max Jentsch’s first start in goal, UW defeated Drake, 3-1. The Badgers then went on to tie SIUE (Sept. 18), defeat Loyola Marymount (Sept. 25), tie Marquette (Sept. 28) and defeat Indiana (Oct. 2). An overtime loss to then-No. 5 Creighton (Oct. 5) ended UW’s run.
The unbeaten streak was UW’s longest since the 2008 season, when the Badgers started the season 4-0-1 before falling to Binghamton in the sixth game of the season.
Big Ten accolades
Max Jentsch earned his second Big Ten weekly award this week for his performance in Wisconsin’s 1-0 shutout victory over Michigan State on Sunday. The sophomore goalkeeper was named Co-Defensive Player of the Week in the Big Ten after recording his second shutout in league play this season. Jentsch is now 5-1-2 in goal for UW.
Jentsch earned his first weekly award of the season for his shutout performance in the Badgers’ win over Indiana on Oct. 2. Jentsch blocked a penalty kick from Indiana’s Harrison Petts to preserve the shutout.
Nick Janus also earned Big Ten Player of the Week honors after his performance in Wisconsin’s win over then-No. 6 Indiana. Janus earned Offensive Player of the Week honors after scoring three points in the game. The award was the first of Janus’ career.
Junior Kyle McCrudden earned Big Ten Co-Player of the Week honors after his performance against Western Illinois on Aug. 29. McCrudden’s game-winning goal in the 68th minute was his first game-winner and second career goal at UW.
Nick Janus was named to the College Soccer News National Team of the Week, CS360 Primetime Performers Weekly Honor Roll and selected to Soccer America Men's Team of the Week after leading unranked Wisconsin to a stunning upset over No. 6 Indiana on Oct. 2. Janus earned the assist on the game-winning goal, before adding an insurance goal late in the game. He earned three points in the game and is now fourth on the team with six points.
Freshman AJ Cochran sophomore Paul Yonga and Tomislav Zadro were named to the UIC Soccer Classic All-Tournament team. Zadro earned three points with one goal and one assist, while Yonga and Cochran’s defensive performance helped the Badgers finish the tournament unbeaten.
Zadro’s all-tournament honors at UIC were his second of the season as he, senior Josh Thiermann and sophomore Blake Succa were named to the all-tournament team at the Hilton Garden Hokie Invitational in Blacksburg, Va. Thiermann led Wisconsin with two goals, while Zadro earned his first point of the season with an assist.