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Saturday, June 22, 2024

Soccer to face MU

The UW Men's soccer team (3-3 Big Ten, 9-8-0 overall) has one more task to complete before Big Ten tournament play begins next weekend. The Badgers head to Milwaukee this Saturday to take on the non-conference Marquette Golden Eagles (7-2-1 Conference USA, 9-7-1). The Golden Eagles clinched at least a share of their conference title by defeating DePaul (4-5-0, 8-8-2) by a score of 2-1Wednesday. 




Saturday's match will be the last of the regular season for the Badgers before they head into Big Ten Conference Tournament action next Saturday in University Park, Penn.  




Wisconsin is coming off a two-game conference winning streak, having recently defeated Michigan State (3-3-0, 11-6-0) and Northwestern (0-5-0, 8-10-0).  




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Freshman forward Phil Doeh played hero both days, scoring the game-winning goal each day. Doeh has six goals this year, three of which have decided the game for the Badgers.  




\He's proven that he's one of the better forwards on our team,"" UW sophomore defender Joe Anderson said. ""He's easily one of the more athletic guys in the Big Ten."" 




Doeh's athleticism will come in handy when the Badgers march into Milwaukee to take on the in-state rival Golden Eagles.  




""They're a pretty athletic team so that's going to be tough to deal with, but I think we can match their athleticism,"" Anderson said. ""They're a very aggressive team, but the Big Ten is a very aggressive conference and that helps in a game like this."" 




The strategy for the Badgers: Score early and score often.  




""We want to score early on them and put them away and don't let them hang around,"" sophomore midfielder Ryan Nord said. ""In-state games are always very intense."" 




Last season Wisconsin and Marquette finished tied in double overtime and the Badgers are now looking to get revenge.  




""We all felt we should have won that,"" Nord said of last season's game. ""So this year we're hopefully going to get them back at their place."" 




Wisconsin has not fared well against other in-state teams this season, losing games to UW-Green Bay and UW-Milwaukee, both by scores of 1-0 in overtime. 




Soccer fans can expect to see an intense matchup between the Badgers and the Golden Eagles this weekend.  




""I expect a hard-fought game,"" Assistant Coach Jon Szczepanski said. ""You get that anytime you play an in-state rival and someone who's so familiar with what you do."" 




Leading Marquette this season will be senior forward Eric Marshall and junior forward Derek Gutierrez. Marshall and Gutierrez are first and second on the team in goals with seven and six, respectively.  




Next weekend is the beginning of the Big Ten Tournament and what lies ahead is nearly impossible to ignore.  




""With the Big Ten Tournament, we're very eager to get to it because that's our doorway to the NCAA [tournament],"" Szczepanski said. ""We're eager to get that going, but we also know that we need to win against Marquette to have a chance."" 




Though tournament play is so close, the Badgers are having no problems focusing on the task at-hand. ""It gives us momentum going in if we win,"" Anderson said. ""It's a good preparation game for the Big Ten [tournament]."" 




""Everyone's focused on beating Marquette,"" Nord said. ""That's our No. 1 goal right now.""

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