Men’s soccer heads to Milwaukee to face MU

first_imgAustin Spohn (21) and the Badgers hope to finish the spring with a victory.[/media-credit]Although a five-day layoff should leave the University of Wisconsin men’s soccer team well-rested heading into Saturday’s Wisconsin Cup, consecutive matches should be quite a test for the squad.Fortunately for the Badgers, the games will switch from the standard 45-minute half to 30-minute halves. Nevertheless, according to head coach Todd Yeagely, the team will likely use most of the roster for the games.“I like the fact that it allows us to experiment with different players with different positions,” Yeagely said. “We have to certainly look at how we are performing and make evaluations on performance.”In Wisconsin’s last home game, Yeagely used his two backup goalies and a variety of bench players en route to a 5-0 victory over UW-Milwaukee. Junior Cale Cooper, who had limited playing time during the fall, scored a goal on his only shot, and freshman Austin Spohn added a pair of goals. Although freshman Jamal Habibi and sophomore Ryan Vint played well in their opportunity against the Panthers, it is unknown how long starter Alex Horwath will play.Another issue for Wisconsin could be the timing of the games. Not only are the games on the same day but having the matches start within a few hours will likely mean the Badgers will not be able to prepare for their second opponent until an hour or less before the latter game starts.“You got to prioritize what’s most important in spring — we’re taking it one game at a time,” Yeagely said.Unlike most tournaments, Wisconsin will face an opponent in the second round even if it loses in the first contest. In the second game, UW will either face UW-Milwaukee or UW-Green Bay, which both faced Wisconsin last year. If UW-M goes on to the face the Badgers in the second round of the Wisconsin Cup, it will mark the third time this season that the Panthers and Badgers have faced off.In the morning game, the Badgers will face Marquette. The Golden Eagles, who finished the 2008 season a disappointing 3-10-4, have followed with a mediocre spring. Although the team had a bad loss to the University of Tampa and only managed a 2-2 draw with Saint Leo University, Marquette did have a solid win against Illinois-Chicago in penalty kicks. Wisconsin also faced the Flames earlier in the spring season, but the Badgers had to settle for a 0-0 tie on the road. The Badgers actually scored in the first minute against UIC, but the goal was called off and both teams struggled to find the net.Even though the Golden Eagles are off to an average start to the exhibition season, Wisconsin has been preparing hard for their matchup this weekend.“I think our thought process moving forward has been much better than when we started in the spring,” Yeagley said. “We’re already working quite a bit as a team. … We’re seeing it in training; hopefully, we can have a good wrap-up to the spring in these last two matches.”With their last spring game before the end of the year, Wisconsin is looking to improve upon Sunday’s result against Western Illinois in which the Badgers fought to a 1-1 tie. Although the Badgers did not lose, the Leathernecks broke Wisconsin’s three-game shutout streak. According to Yeagely, the team has fixed the problems that plagued them last week.“Our composure could have been better,” Yeagley said. “We could have been better on second chances and we addressed that as a team.”last_img

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