Badgers defeat Buckeyes, 2-0, in regular season finale

first_imgThe Wisconsin men’s soccer team wrapped up its 2013 regular season schedule Friday night at the McClimon Complex with a 2-[media-credit name=”Claire Larkins ” align=”alignright” width=”336″][/media-credit]0 victory over Ohio State on senior night. The win extended the Badgers’ home-unbeaten streak to 13 games, good for best in the country.“It’s unbelievable to finish undefeated, untied at home,” Wisconsin head coach John Trask said of his team who finished a perfect 9-0-0 at home this season. “Compliments to the seniors, the captains, and the rest of the squad because that’s never an easy thing to do.”The home winning streak is of great importance to the players as it is a sign of how much they have been through and how their hard work has truly begun to pay off.“We’ve been through so much together,” senior co-captain Chris Prince said. “Now we realize how short of time we have left. [Coach] Trask has always had the saying ‘you have to protect your home turf, you have to be perfect at home’ and this is the first year we’ve implemented that.”Coming into Friday night’s game, the Buckeyes (6-6-5, 1-3-2 Big Ten) had allowed just nine goals to their opponents all season and the Badgers (13-3-2, 4-2-0) became just the fourth team to score more than one goal in a game against Ohio State this season.Coming into the match, the focus was on which team’s strength would in out: Ohio State’s conference-best defense, or Wisconsin’s conference-best offense. The Badgers provided the answer to that question rather quickly.The first goal came in the 23rd minute when senior Tomislav Zadro put a diving header in the back of the net off of a Drew Conner cross from inside the box. The goal was Zadro’s fourth of the season and the assist was Conner’s team-leading seventh.In the 72nd minute, senior Nick Janus netted his team-leading ninth goal of the season on a strike from inside the box to give the Badgers the 2-0 advantage. This was the ninth game of the season in which the Badgers scored multiple goals; they had seven such games in 2012 and eight in 2011.Prince pointed to the fact that because the Badgers have spent so much time getting their defense to the level it is currently at, the offense is able to play loose and with relative ease.“It’s so much fun knowing that we can go anywhere on the field and know something good is going to come out of it,” he said.The shutout was the seventh of the season for the stingy Badgers defense and just the fourth time this season that the Buckeyes were shutout in a game that did not end in a 0-0 draw.“The whole season our defense has been strong,” senior co-captain Blake Succa said after the victory. “I expected nothing different tonight and we didn’t disappoint.”For what Trask described as a “typical Big Ten game,” the match was intense from the first to the final whistle. Seven yellow cards (four Ohio State, three Wisconsin) were handed out, tied for the highest number of cautions handed out in any Big Ten match involving the Badgers this season.“It was a very physical game,” Prince said. “That’s what we expect whenever we play them. Tonight we were the better team and found a way to put two goals in. There’s no way to get a better win on senior night.”Succa mentioned that because the Badges were familiar with the physical nature of Ohio State that all they had to do was to make sure that they matched the Buckeyes’ big, strong and physical play and the soccer would take care of itself.Going forward, the Badgers have just a few days before they head to Columbus, Ohio, to battle with the rest of the Big Ten in the annual Big Ten Tournament. Having already assured themselves of a birth in the NCAA Tournament, Columbus serves as a place for Wisconsin to get the best possible seeding it can – one that might even permit them to host a game in the opening round.“We’ve put our mark thus far on the regular season,” Succa said, “Honestly I don’t know what to expect moving forward. We’re just taking it day-by-day with the Big Ten Tournament up next to hopefully improve our seeding for the NCAA Tournament.”No matter what seed they receive, the Badgers are more than confident that they can play with not just the best of the Big Ten, but the best the country has to offer.“Anyone in the country,” Prince said of who his team could beat. “I’m telling you this is the best team, the best group of guys I’ve ever been around in my entire life. We have so much confidence in ourselves, and I’m excited to see where we go from here.”The Badgers — seeded No. 2 in the tournament — will open the Big Ten tournament Nov. 13 against No. 7-seeded Northwestern, with a second-round matchup against either No. 3 Michigan State or No. 6 Ohio State Nov. X should they beat Northwestern for the second time this season.last_img read more