The Wisconsin men's soccer team put up a fierce battle but was unable to hold off the top-seeded Indiana Hoosiers in a semifinal match of the 2003 Big Ten Conference Mens Soccer Championship. Junior goalkeeper Eric Hanson collected seven brilliant saves for the Badgers in the 1-0 loss.
I thought we came out with the energy and the intensity and the emotion that we needed to, Wisconsin head coach Jeff Rohrman said. Obviously playing Indiana in the semifinal of the Big Ten Tournament, it doesnt take a whole lot to get yourself inspired, but we were up to the challenge and I thought we played a very good first half.
Wisconsin (11-10-1) and Indiana entered their locker rooms at the end of the first half knotted 0-0 and equal in most offensive categories. Each team tallied six shots through the first frame while the Hoosiers had two shots on goal and the Badgers notched one.
Wisconsins shot on goal came in the 22nd minute when junior forward Jed Hohlbein fired the ball from the right side of the field where it was scooped up by Hoosier goalkeeper Jay Nolly.
We created a few pretty dangerous chances, Rohrman said. And I thought we were a little unfortunate to not get one in the first half with the effort we put in.
The Badger defense held strong in the first period, clearing several potentially dangerous Hoosier attacks before they posed a threat. Hanson collected two saves in the half, both which came consecutively at point-blank range.
Our backs did a great job in neutralizing their forwards, Rohrman said. Overall I was really pleased with the way we played, especially through the first half.
Indiana (12-3-4) looked poised to break the tie early in the second period when a penalty gave the Hoosiers a direct kick ten yards in front of the Badger goal. Hoosier forward Ned Grabavoy took the kick, but Hanson stretched up and to his right to make the athletic save.
I have to give a lot of credit to Eric Hanson, Rohrman said. I thought he demonstrated that he is one of the best goalkeepers in not only the conference, but also this region.
[Hanson] had an outstanding game. He made a great save on Neds penalty kick and came up with probably four or five tremendous saves from close-range shots.
The Badger defense came through in the clutch in the 81st minute when Hoosier forward Jacob Peterson had Hanson beat on a drive to the goal. Wisconsin freshman defender Aaron Hohlbein was perfectly positioned for the team-save and sent Peterson away empty-handed.
Despite the heroic efforts of Wisconsins defense, Indiana was able to find a hole with 11:10 remaining when midfielder Pat Yates capitalized on a Grabavoy assist.
Midway through the second half I thought we lost our legs a bit, Rohrman said. I thought [Indiana] started to dictate a little bit of the pace and the rhythm of the play. They created a few more chances, but we still held tight.
Indiana out-shot Wisconsin 11-1 in the second frame.
Our guys played with a lot of confidence, Rohrman said. And that was good to see because there are a lot of teams that come here in this environment in Indiana, and are beat before they even get on the field. I was pleased to see our guys meet that challenge and come out and compete from the first whistle to the last.
First Period: None.
Second Period: 1, IU, Pat Yates (Ned Grabavoy), 78:50.
Saves: UW, Eric Hanson 7, TM 1; IU, Jay Nolly 1.