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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Friday, April 19, 2024

Burned by the Flames

On a cold, windy night that drew only die-hard soccer fans, a quick, energetic University of Illinois-Chicago team pounded out a 3-1 victory against the favored Badgers.  




Coming off a canceled Ohio State game, a rested Wisconsin team expected to dominate play from the start.  




Instead, UIC began the game strong, scoring just five minutes into the game on a free kick by midfielder Bruno Rasich.  




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Almost a minute later, UW answered back. Forward Dominic DaPra, the Badgers' leading scorer, put in the goal off a long pass from Nick VanSicklen.  




The rest of the first half showcased UIC's stifling defense. UIC denied Wisconsin on a number of occasions, tracking down every ball and challenging UW's offensive attack. However, neither team could find a rhythm as whistles stopped play repeatedly.  




Although players said they weren't affected by the referee's constant'and many times unnecessary'interruptions, their frustration was evident on the field.  




Wisconsin's dynamic duo of DaPra and Aaron Lauber failed to provide the spark the team desperately needed, in part because of UIC's efforts.  




'Even if [UIC] had the ball, [their defenders] weren't straying very far away from Aaron or myself,' DaPra said.  




Wisconsin missed a number of scoring opportunities, including the Badgers' best chance on a play in which Lauber, feet from UIC's goalkeeper, passed to a teammate, instead of taking it himself.  




This type of overly unselfish play was characteristic of the night for the Badgers.  




Head Coach Kalekeni Banda wants to see a change in his team's play.  




'It's time to be selfish,' Banda said. 'We have to be aggressive and go to the ball with authority.' 




UW's failure to aggressively attack became apparent in the second half in their defensive play as UIC scored two more times.  




Sixty-five minutes into the contest, UIC forward Jake Stasko scored on an uncontested kick through traffic that UW goalkeeper Moriba Atiba Baker could not save.  




After the Badgers' numerous attempts to tie the game fell short, UIC sealed its upset of Wisconsin, scoring with less than two minutes left on Ross Felton's goal. 




The Badgers look to get back on track on Friday when they take on rival UW-Milwaukee.

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