Nov. 10, 2009
MADISON, Wis. -- The fourth-seeded Wisconsin men’s soccer team (7-8-2) begins postseason play Thursday with a quarterfinal-round matchup against host and No. 5 seed Indiana (9-8-1) on the opening day of the 2009 Big Ten Tournament at Armstrong Stadium in Bloomington, Ind.
Roster | Schedule | Stats | News | Record Book | Game Notes
Roster | Schedule | Stats | News | Media Guide | Game Notes
Online Coverage Expands
Fans unable to attend the Badgers' matches in person can stay close to the action at home thanks to a pair of additions to online coverage of home games at UWBadgers.com. Live stats will continue to be offered for every home game in 2009, but fans can now enjoy a more in-depth presentation of the events on the field through GameTracker from CBS College Sports.
In addition, soccer fans will be able to follow along with the live, interactive in-game blogs that have become popular for a number of Badgers sports on UWBadgers.com.
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The Badgers seek their first Big Ten tournament win since 2003 — also the last time the event was held in Bloomington — and revenge for a 1-0 loss handed to them by the Hoosiers on Sept. 25.
In addition to its Big Ten title hopes, Wisconsin seeks to emerge from the tournament with an overall record of .500 or better in order to be considered for at-large selection to the NCAA tournament.
Pablo Delgado tallied his first goal of the season in the 89th minute to lift the Badgers to a 1-0 win over in-state rival Milwaukee last Thursday. The win helped UW snap a two-game losing skid and gave the Badgers their sixth shutout of the year.
Wisconsin enters the 2009 Big Ten Tournament in search of its first postseason win since downing Ohio State, 2-0, in Bloomington on Nov. 13, 2003. Since then, the Badgers are 0-5-1 in Big Ten tourney play.
The Badgers went on to fall to Indiana, 1-0, in the semifinals that season, the last time they have advanced past the opening round of play. The Hoosiers have won the Big Ten tournament in each of the four seasons they have hosted the event (1991, 1992, 1997, 2003).
Wisconsin has never advanced to the championship match of the Big Ten tournament, something the Badgers likely must do this weekend to keep their NCAA tournament hopes alive.
Thursday’s match with Indiana will be the 39th renewal of Wisconsin’s most-played rivalry. The teams have met five times in the Big Ten tournament, but just once in the opening round, a 2-0 win for the Hoosiers in 2005. UW owns an 0-5 record against IU in Big Ten tourney play.
The match Thursday will mark Todd Yeagley’s first game on the field named for his father — long-time IU coach Jerry Yeagley — as head coach at Wisconsin. Todd Yeagley played for his father at IU from 1991-1994 and was an assistant coach for the Hoosiers from 2003-2008.
The Badgers finished 3-3 in Big Ten play, their first season with there league wins since going 3-2-1 in 2006. Wisconsin has tallied three Big Ten wins in five of the 10 seasons since 2000.
Of Wisconsin’s eight losses on the season, five have come by a one-goal margin.
| Scouting the Opponent: Indiana
After hitting some bumps in the road over the course of an extremely-difficult schedule, the Hoosiers concluded the season by winning two of their last three matches to finish 9-8-1 overall.
IU played its last three regular-season games at home, downing Evansville (2-0) and Penn State (2-1) while dropping an overtime match to Ohio State (1-0).
Will Bruin, the reigning Big Ten freshman of year, leads the Hoosiers with six goals, four assists and 69 shots on the season.
In all, five players have scored multiple goals for the Hoosiers, who outscored their opponents 21-20 in the regular season.
IU was shut out in six of its eight losses during the regular season and held scoreless a total of seven times.
The Hoosiers also recorded seven shutouts of their own, including six by goalkeeper Luis Soffner. He finished the regular season with a 1.02 goals-against average and a .738 save percentage in 16 games.
Mike Freitag, who took over for legendary IU head man Jerry Yeagley in 2004, has amassed a 83-30-19 (.701) record in his five-plus seasons as the Hoosiers’ head coach.
Friday’s contest will be the 39th all-time meeting between the Badgers and Indiana, with the Hoosiers holding a 31-3-4 lead in the series between the teams.
The Badgers have not won a game against IU since a 2-0 victory on Oct. 13, 1995. Indiana won the next 14 games in the series until the teams battled to a scoreless draw on Nov. 4, 2007.
All-time, the Badgers are 0-5 against Indiana in the Big Ten tournament, including a 2-0 loss in 2005 in the teams’ only previous meeting in the tournament’s first round.
Indiana holds a 6-1-1 advantage over Wisconsin in games played in Bloomington, including a 2-0 mark in Big Ten tournament games.
Since the Big Ten began sponsoring soccer in 1991, the Hoosiers also hold a 15-2-2 mark against Wisconsin in regular-season conference matches.
Mike Freitag is 6-0-1 against Wisconsin as head coach at Indiana, while Todd Yeagley is 0-1-0 against his alma mater as head coach at UW.
Sept. 25, 2009 -- Will Bruin’s breakaway goal in the 57th minute was the difference-maker for No. 13 Indiana, which held off the Wisconsin men’s soccer team for a 1-0 win in the Big Ten Conference opener for both teams.
The match was played before a crowd of 1,703 fans that turned out for the Badgers’ Pac the Mac doubleheader, filling the McClimon Complex with the sixth-largest crowd in stadium history and the largest to watch a UW men’s game since 1997.
Moving On Up
Wisconsin jumped a staggering 57 spots in the Ratings Percentage Index released Oct. 27 by the NCAA. The Badgers moved from 90th all the way to 33rd in the RPI, which is a primary tool for the determination of at-large bids for the NCAA tournament.
The Badgers’ 57-place jump was the third-largest of any team, trailing only Sacramento State, which improved 78 spots (92 from 170) and Missouri State, which jumped 63 spots (39 from 102).
The Badgers finished 39th in the final RPI of 2008 after posting a 9-7-3 record but were not selected to the NCAA tournament.
In the latest RPI, released Tuesday, the Badgers fell back five spots to No. 38.
Wisconsin and Penn State sat first and second in the Big Ten standings entering the teams’ Oct. 31 game.
Penn State ended up finishing second in the league at 3-2-1, while the Badgers finished in a tie for fourth place at 3-3-0.
Prior to the season, the Badgers and Nittany Lions were projected for a fifth-place tie in a vote of conference coaches.
For the third-consecutive season, the Badgers will have at least two of their regular-season matches televised nationally by Big Ten Network. UW's home game against defending Big Ten champion Michigan State (Oct. 11) was carried live by the network, while the Badgers' conference finale at Penn State (Oct. 31) aired on a tape-delay basis on Nov. 1.
The Badgers picked up their first-ever win in a BTN-televised game when they downed the Spartans, 2-1, on Oct. 11.
Tale of Two Halves
After a brutal finish to the first half of the Badgers’ regular season that saw the team lose three straight by a combined score of 7-0, the UW coaching staff emphasized the importance of starting strong in the season’s second half.
Consecutive shutout losses to Indiana, UIC and Michigan — the program’s first three-game shutout streak since 1997 — dropped the Badgers to 2-5-2 after nine games.
The results have been clear since the second half started, as the Badgers are 5-3 over their last eight games, including 3-1 in Big Ten play.
An End to the Drought
After scoring just five goals in their first nine games — and being shut out in five of those contests — the Badgers scored 13 goals over their next six contests. That includes four of the team’s five multiple-goal games this season.
In its first 14 games, Wisconsin faced eight teams that qualified for the 2008 NCAA Tournament, with the Badgers posting a 4-3-1 record against those opponents
Junior midfielder Jon Rzepka continued the road back from a foot injury that kept him sidelined for the entire 2008 season at the Milwaukee Panther Classic.
Rzepka was in the starting 11 for the Badgers' Sept. 18 matchup with Oakland, marking his first start since Oct. 20, 2007.
Rzepka has played in all six of UW's games this season after making his return to the field in the Badgers' season-opener against Virginia Tech on Sept. 4.
Sweet Home, Milwaukee
Wisconsin's 19th appearance in the 36-year-old Milwaukee Panther Invitational (Sept. 18-20) was another productive trip to Milwaukee for the Badgers, who went 1-0-1 on the weekend and earned a runner-up finish in the event.
The Badgers' 1-1 draw with UC Santa Barbara was UW's first-ever tie in the event and moved the Badgers' record in the tournament to 25-12-1 all-time.
The Badgers also improved their all-time mark at Engelmann Field to 27-16-6.
Feels Like the First Time
Freshman Ata Ozbay made the first start of his career Sunday against San Diego State, and has now appeared in all four of the Badgers' matches in his rookie season.
Sophomore Mark Roos, also a forward, is the other UW player to make his debut in the starting lineup this season. He has started all four games for the Badgers.
Also making their Badger debuts against San Diego State (Sept. 13) were sophomore goalkeeper Jamal Habibi, who played 27 minutes in relief of an injured Alex Horwath, and sophomore forward Ross Seagram, who scored his first goal with UW in the second half.
The Badgers went 36 consecutive matches without being awarded a penalty kick before they were granted a PK chance against Northwestern on Oct. 16, a streak dating back to Oct. 13, 2007.
Senior Eric Conklin made the most of the Badgers’ opportunity by drilling the game-winning goal five minutes into overtime to give the Badgers a 2-1 win over the Wildcats.
The last time a UW player converted a penalty kick attempt into a goal was one game earlier, when Sho Fujita netted a PK in a 1-1 tie with Milwaukee on Oct. 10, 2007.
The Badgers had given up seven penalty-kick goals since their last try from the penalty spot, including four game-winning scores and a game-tying goal.
The Badgers went 0-4-2 in the matches in which they gave up a PK during the streak. Here’s a breakdown of those games:
10/20/07: Penn State (1st half) -- T, 3-3 (2OT)
9/27/08: Michigan (2nd half, 00:24 left) -- T, 1-1 (2OT)
10/5/08: at Michigan State (2nd half, 6:00 left) -- L, 1-0
9/11/09: at San Diego (1st half) -- L, 3-0
9/13/09: at San Diego State (2nd OT, 00:31 left) -- L, 3-2 (2OT)
9/30/09: at UIC (1st half: 25th min.; 34th min.) -- L, 3-0
On the Board
Mark Roos' game-winning goal in the 90th minute of the Badgers' win over Western Illinois (Sept. 6) snapped a scoreless drought of 199 minutes, 57 seconds for the Badgers. The streak was the longest dry spell to open a season in school history.
The Badgers' longest opening scoring drought prior to this season was 152:46, which came when UW opened the 1998 season with a 1-0 loss to Northern Illinois (9/4/98) and then scored in the 63rd minute of a 4-1 loss to Richmond (9/6/98).
Senior goalkeeper Alex Horwath posted back-to-back shutouts to open the season, blanking both Virginia Tech (Sept. 4) and Western Illinois (Sept. 6), to earn Defensive MVP honors at the Middleton Sports and Fitness Invitational.
Horwath, who has moved into fifth place on the Badgers' all-time shutouts list with 15 for his career, was then named Big Ten Defensive Player of Week by the league for the week of Sept. 7.
Yeagley Makes Wisconsin Debut
Todd Yeagley became the fifth head coach in Wisconsin men's soccer history when he was hired on Dec. 18, 2008. He made his head coaching debut when the Badgers took on Virginia Tech on Sept. 4, becoming the first UW head man to start his career with a tie.
Here's a look at how UW coaches have fared in their first game at Wisconsin:
Bill Reddan (1977): W, 3-1 (at UW-Parkside)
Jim Launder (1982): L, 0-1 (vs. Cleveland State)
Kalekeni Banda (1997): W, 3-2 OT (vs. Davidson)
Jeff Rohrman (2002): W, 4-0 (vs. Iona)
Todd Yeagley (2009): T, 0-0 2OT (vs. Virginia Tech)
Reddan Heads to Hall
Wisconsin soccer pioneer Bill Reddan was among those inducted into the University of Wisconsin Athletics Hall of Fame on Sept. 4 as part of the Class of 2009.
The school's first men's soccer head coach, Reddan is credited with founding the UW program first as a club sport and then guiding the Badgers after the program achieved varsity status in 1977.
Reddan compiled a 49-27-9 record in his five seasons as head coach, led the Badgers to their first-ever NCAA tournament berth in 1981 and served as an assistant on UW's 1995 NCAA championship team.
Badgers Picked for Fifth
Wisconsin has been tabbed to finish in a tie for fifth place in the Big Ten Conference this season, according to the league's annual preseason coaches' poll. Indiana was picked to win the league, which features four teams ranked in the preseason NSCAA Top 25.
2009 Big Ten Preseason Men's Soccer Poll
3. Michigan State
4. Ohio State
5. Penn State, Wisconsin
McCrudden One to `Keep an Eye On'
Freshman defender Kyle McCrudden has been named to College Soccer News' annual list of `100 Freshman to Keep an Eye On.' Last season, then-freshman Colin Monasterio was named to the same list and went on to earn Big Ten All-Freshman Team honors in his rookie year at UW.
Examining the Exhibitions
Wisconsin begins the regular season on the heels of a pair of exhibition contests in which it went 1-1. The Badgers opened the preseason with a 1-0 overtime win over UW-Parkside on Aug. 24 and then dropped a 2-1 decision to No. 3 Akron on Saturday (Aug. 29) at the National Soccer Festival in Fort Wayne, Ind.
NSCAA/adidas Top 25
College Soccer News Top 30
SoccerTimes.com Top 25
Big Ten Conference standings
Big Ten Conference
NCAA Men's Soccer
Big Ten Network
College Soccer News
National Soccer Coaches Association of America