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Tuesday, April 16, 2024
Lorenz leads the Badgers into post season action

lorenz: Wisconsin junior forward Scott Lorenz has three assists and a team high 10 goals this season for the Badgers.

Lorenz leads the Badgers into post season action

Wisconsin junior forward Scott Lorenz has been the offensive sparkplug for the men's soccer team all season. With the Big Ten Tournament scheduled to start Thursday, Lorenz enters as the third leading point scorer in the conference. His 10 goals and three assists - 23 points on the season - make him one of the most dangerous scoring threats in the Big Ten. However, Lorenz has not always played this role for the Badgers.  


After redshirting his freshman season with Wisconsin, Lorenz's first two seasons of action were at left back - a defensive position. From the standpoint of the coaching staff, this was the plan all along.  


We knew Scott would be someone that was going to move farther up the field,"" assistant coach Jon Szczepanski said. ""He started in the back for us ... and we always knew as he got more mature and he started reading the game a lot better, he'd be farther up the field."" 


Lorenz's increased maturity is evident both through his production at his new position and his new role as a team leader.  


""Being an upperclassman, you take more of a leadership role by helping the younger kids learn and adjust to college soccer,"" Lorenz said.  


Playing an offensive-minded game is no new task for Lorenz. Prior to playing for Wisconsin, he tallied 19 goals in his senior year for Barrington High School (Illinois). Even at UW, Szczepanski characterized him as an ""attacking left back"" with offensive ability.  


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""The workload and the scoring are more on your shoulders,"" Lorenz said of his new role on the team. ""You just have to take it and run with it.""  


Lorenz has certainly done that this season. His 10 goals this season gave him the most by a Badger since Nick Van Sicklen tallied 12 goals in 2002.  


Despite Lorenz's impressive numbers, the Badgers once again struggled versus Big Ten opponents in 2008. Wisconsin's Oct. 26 4-1 win over Penn State was its only Big Ten win during the regular season and the first Big Ten win since Oct.15, 2006. The Badgers' recent history in the Big Ten Tournament paints a much darker picture - only two wins since 1998.  


Wisconsin takes on the Big Ten's second-ranked Michigan Wolverines Thursday in what should be a fiercely contested rematch of the two team's 1-1 tie earlier in the season.  


""We match up well with [Michigan],"" said Lorenz. ""They have the potential to score a lot of goals, but they also have the potential to give up a lot of goals, so it could be a high scoring game.""  


If that is the case, the Badgers will rely on Lorenz to help keep the game close. Michigan will counter Lorenz with junior forward Peri Marosevic who is second in the Big Ten with 27 points on the season.  


In Thursday's tournament opener at the McClimon Facility, Lorenz's role will undoubtedly be the same it has been all season.  


""He needs to score goals,"" Szczepanski said. ""Scott knows that. He is our leading scorer for a reason: he shows up in big games.""  


Regardless of their recent struggles in conference play, Lorenz remains optimistic.  


""We're excited for it ... it's the postseason now and you get a second chance at things,"" Lorenz said.

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