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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Thursday, June 20, 2024
Badgers down UWM to finish spring unbeaten

Mark Roos: Sophomore forward Mark Roos played the part of hero, scoring the winning goal against UWM in the team?s final spring season game.

Badgers down UWM to finish spring unbeaten

A goal in the closing minutes gave the Wisconsin men's soccer team a 4-3 win over rival UW-Milwaukee Friday in the McClain Center, and concluded an unbeaten spring exhibition campaign.

Sophomore forward Mark Roos scored the game-winner with time running out after a goal kick from senior goaltender Ryan Vint bounced through to Milwaukee's penalty area and Roos flicked it past the Panthers' charging keeper.

Roos said he wanted to ensure the Badgers won on their terms, unlike the last time the two teams met.

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""Last time we played them [Milwaukee] we went to penalty kicks ... and you never know what's going to happen on PKs,"" he said.  ""We wanted to win when we still had it under our control.""

The game was originally scheduled to be played in Camp Randall Stadium, but poor weather forced the teams to move indoors and playing 8-on-8 to adjust to the smaller field. Both teams took advantage of the smaller playing field by scoring as many goals as they had in any contest this spring season.

Wisconsin senior midfielder Jon Rzepka was the first to strike, scoring eight minutes into the match. Rzepka put the Badgers up 1-0 after heading in a rebound following a whistling shot off the crossbar by fellow midfielder Josh Thiermann.

Then, in the 32nd minute, Rzepka gave Wisconsin a 2-0 lead after catching the Milwaukee goalkeeper out of position and curling the ball into the lower-right corner of the net from about 20 yards out.

Rzepka was happy to finally get on the scoreboard this spring season.

""It felt really good because I haven't scored all of spring in the first four games,"" he said.

But Milwaukee came back with a goal of its own just a few minutes later.

A defensive breakdown by the Badgers resulted in a Milwaukee goal after a Panthers forward went one-on-one with Vint and slid the ball the goalkeeper to make the score 2-1 going into halftime.

Milwaukee carried its momentum into the second half and tied the game 2-2 in the 63rd minute after a hard strike flew by the Wisconsin keeper.

After regaining their composure, the Badgers responded with a goal of their own nine minutes later. Sophomore Derek Pitts scored a header off a corner kick to give them a 3-2 advantage.

Pitts' goal was not meant to be the game winner, however. Just minutes later, a sizzling shot by a Milwaukee midfielder from 30 yards out whistled past the Wisconsin defense and straight into the lower-left corner of the net.

Holding off the Panthers' barrage of shots, the Badgers finally got their big break. The Vint-to-Roos connection in the final minutes gave the Badgers the lead for good and ended the game with a 4-3 win.

Having completed an undefeated spring exhibition season with the win on Friday, the Wisconsin men's soccer team has high expectations for the upcoming fall.

""Definitely nothing less than making the tournament,"" Rzepka said of his goals for the season""Being a senior, I want to go out and be the team that breaks the streak of not going to the tournament.""

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