UW still looking for Big Ten win

first_imgGREG DIXON/Herald photoOn Sunday, Wisconsin will have one final opportunity to accomplish something it has not been able to do since October 2006: win a Big Ten game. Although the Badgers have been on the brink of breaking their winless streak several times this year, they have not come away from a Big Ten match victorious.Their final Big Ten game of the season, against Penn State, will provide the best chance all year for Wisconsin to earn a win.The Nittany Lions, like the Badgers, have also struggled in the Big Ten this year, recording a 1-2 record in the conference. Unlike the Badgers, however, the Nittany Lions have also struggled out of conference as well, en route to a 4-8-2 overall record.Despite Penn State’s struggles this season, Wisconsin head coach Jeff Rohrman has stressed the importance of treating the game as any other.“We’re going to have to be very good defensively,” Rohrman said. “Individually they’ve got some very good players that can punish teams.”Leading the offense for Penn State is sophomore Treavor Gelsinger, who has six goals this season. Their offense has shown flashes of their potential this season, especially in the Lions’ lone Big Ten win this season against Ohio State. Three first half goals by the Nittany Lions paved the way to a 3-2 victory over then No. 17 Ohio State.To keep up with Penn State’s offense, Wisconsin will have to score early against goalie Liam Fitzwater, who hasn’t recorded a shutout since Sept. 19. Although the Badgers have had some trouble finding the back of the net early in games, senior forward Victor Diaz erased all concerns about the offense with his performance Monday against UW-Green Bay. Just 41 seconds into the contest, Diaz gave the Badgers a lead they kept the entire game. Diaz’s goal was the quickest lead in Rohrman’s tenure at Wisconsin.“You start out winning from the first minute, and it builds up your self confidence,” Diaz said. “We’ve just got to start from the first minute put pressure on them and do our best.”The last match between these two teams last year was a high-scoring affair, ending in a 3-3 draw after two overtimes.“That was an unbelievable game,” Rohrman said. “In some ways, I kind of think Sunday will be like that too because of the way they press attack and go forward. … It’s always exciting to play these types of teams because they are very competitive. It’s going to be a great game.”In addition to avoiding last place in the Big Ten, Sunday’s match at the McClimon Soccer Complex holds extra importance for the Badgers, who will be celebrating Senior Day. Along with Diaz, seniors Andy Miller, Kenny Dix and Zack Lambo will be playing in their last collegiate contest. For Diaz, Sunday’s ceremony will probably be a memorable one.“I’ve had such a good time here at Wisconsin,” Diaz said. “There’s great chemistry on the team; I’m going to miss it a lot.”Rohrman, who is in his seventh season coaching the Badgers, feels equally strong about his core of leaders this year.“They’re four quality people and four quality players,” Rohrman said. “Doing things above and beyond what we’ve asked the too, they’ve been terrific leaders, and in my opinion, great ambassadors of the game and of the university.”last_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *