Nov. 10, 2011
Wisconsin prepares for rematch with Penn State
After defeating the Michigan Wolverines, 2-0, on Wednesday night in the first round of the Big Ten tournament, Wisconsin (10-7-2) meets up with Penn State (8-8-4) in the second round on Friday, Nov. 11, at 2:30 p.m.
Wisconsin vs. Penn State: 11-12-2
Wisconsin vs. Penn State in Big Ten Tournament: 0-4-0
vs. Penn State
When the two teams met up in the regular season finale last weekend, Wisconsin escaped Happy Valley victorious for the fourth time in 12 trips. A late penalty kick from Tomislav Zadro at the 109:39 mark in double overtime gave the Badgers a 1-0 win. The Badgers recorded 20 shots to the Lions 19, and attempted nine corner kicks to Penn State's four.
In all four meetings between the Badgers and Nittany Lions at the Big Ten tournament, Penn State has come out on top. The last time the teams met at the tournament was 2002, when Penn State hosted the tournament. On Nov. 14, 2002, the Nittany Lions topped Wisconsin, 1-0, en route to claiming the Big Ten title.
In the Big Ten
Wisconsin is 86-71-19 all-time in Big Ten games and 51-57-10 since 1991, the year the Big Ten officially recognized men's soccer. Against current Big Ten opponents, UW holds a record of 76-87-20 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 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. 10, 2011
Indiana opened up action in Ann Arbor with a 2-1 win over Michigan State. The No. 4 seeded Hoosiers advance to the semifinal round, where they will play No. 1 seeded Northwestern.
Penn State picked a prime time to earn its first win over a league opponent, as it defeated Ohio State, 2-0, in the opening round of Big Ten tournament action. Freshman goalkeeper Andrew Wolverton made history in the process, claiming his 11th shutout of the year to break the Penn State single season record of 10.
Michigan's loss to Wisconsin ended its season with a 5-14-1 overall record. The 2010 Big Ten tournament champions were unable to defend their title on their home turf.
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 22-22-5 at the Big Ten tournament, including Wednesday night's win. 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.
Scoreless drought stopped
Prior to Wednesday night's 2-0 win, the Badgers had not scored a goal at the tournament since 2007 when Andy Miller netted the lone UW goal in a 3-1 loss to Northwestern. Wisconsin's two goals was the team's most since the 2003 season when it also scored two in a 2-0 victory over Ohio State.
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
Battling the windy elements in Ann Arbor, Wisconsin broke through with two late goals in the 80th minute to escape Ann Arbor victorious for the second time this season. Nick Janus netted the game's first goal at the 83:22 mark off a cross from Tomislav Zadro. The goal marked Janus' third of the season, while the assist marked Zadro's 20th point.
Later, in the 89th minute, Josh Thiermann tacked on another goal for UW. Thiermann took advantage of an open net after Michigan's goalkeeper Adam Grinwis missed the ball. The goal was Thiermann's fourth of the season and second in Ann Arbor.
The win marks Wisconsin's first victory at the Big Ten tournament since the '03 season. On Nov. 13, 2003, the Badgers defeated Ohio State, 2-0, in Bloomington, Ind. before falling to Indiana, 1-0, in the second round.
Scouting Penn State
Penn State picked the prime time to pick up its first Big Ten win of the season. The seventh-seeded Nittany Lions knocked off the second-seeded Ohio State Buckeyes, 2-0, on Wednesday, Nov. 9 for their first conference win.
Penn State scored early with a goal from Matt Smallwood in the ninth minute to put the Nittany Lions up 1-0. Julian Cardona added an insurance goal in the 48th to increase Penn State's lead to 2-0. With the win, Penn State handed the Buckeyes their second-straight shutout loss. The win marks Penn State's first win since Oct. 19 when they defeated UMBC, 1-0, in Baltimore.
The Nittany Lioins return five starters from last season's squad after losing six. Penn State also returns 11 letterwinners, while welcoming 12 newcomers. Head coach Bob Warming is in his second season at the helm of Penn State soccer. In his first season in Happy Valley, Warming led the Lions to 14 wins, the most by PSU team since 2002. Warming also led his squad to its first NCAA postseason victory in five years.
Who to watch for
The Badgers have to keep their eyes on Julian Cardona, who leads the Nittany Lions with four goals and 10 points. Earlier in the season, Cardona was recruited to the Puerto Rico National Team to play in two World Cup qualifying matches. The junior midfielder/forward is in his first year as a Nittany Lion after transferring from Butler. Cardona netted one of Penn State's goals in their win over Ohio State in the first round of the Big Ten tournament.
More points please
In 19 games played this season, the Badgers have scored 73 points, 18 more than all of 2010. Eleven members of the team have scored a point this season, while Tomislav Zadro leads the team with 20.
Junior Tomislav Zadro's team-best 20 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.
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.
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.
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.