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Wisconsin still in search of 1st conference victory

first_imgGREG DIXON/Herald photoWith two games left in the Big Ten season, time is running out for the Wisconsin men’s soccer team, as it looks to earn its first conference win in two years. On Saturday night, they will get another chance in Columbus against Ohio State.Although Wisconsin has a winning record on the season at 6-5-2, the Badgers have yet to beat a Big Ten team. While it may be tough to win against Ohio State, a team picked preseason to finish third in the Big Ten, the Buckeyes have shown some weaknesses in the conference this year. The disappointments the Buckeyes have had this season gives Wisconsin head coach Jeff Rohrman confidence the Badgers can contend with the Buckeyes.“I feel pretty good about going into Ohio State and giving them a game,” Rohrman said. “Our guys certainly have the confidence from how we played last week.”Unlike Ohio State, Wisconsin is coming into the match on a hot streak. After going through a stretch of five games when the Badgers lost four times and had no wins, they have recorded two victories in their last three games. Meanwhile, the Buckeyes are coming off back-to-back losses against unranked teams. Against Penn State last Saturday, the Buckeyes gave up three goals and against West Virginia on Wednesday were unable to record a goal.In Wisconsin’s two wins, junior Scott Lorenz has been the main factor in both games. Against UW-Milwaukee, Lorenz recorded two scores and added another goal against Marquette on Wednesday.“The guys are hungry and eager,” Rohrman said. “You have got to just keep going at it and take each game for what it is and put your best foot forward. When we do that, we play very well and focused, and we’ve put ourselves in a position to win games.”Despite coming into the matchup with more momentum than the Buckeyes, Rohrman knows his team cannot overlook a team that still has more Big Ten wins than the Badgers this year.“They’re a very hardworking group; they’ve got a very tough-minded midfield that we’re going to contend with,” Rohrman said of Ohio State. “They’re a very stingy defense. We’re going to have to be very good with our chances.”To beat the Buckeyes, Wisconsin will have to create quality chances against OSU’s two goalies this year, Bryon Neal and starter Drew Czekanski. Both goalies have goals against average under a goal per game, giving the team a chance to win every game.“They’ve certainly done their part to seize the opportunity,” Rohrman said. “They’ve had an opportunity to showcase what they can do, and they’ve done a good job so far.”While its offense averages a mediocre 1.46 goals per game, its defense is going to be the main focus for Wisconsin. If the Badgers can find a way to get the ball past Czekanski, look for the Badgers to have an excellent shot at their first win in the Big Ten this year.“We’ve played quite well,” Rohrman said. “The guys are excited to get a chance to beat Ohio State there.”last_img

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