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

Many underclassmen have stepped up this season proving they can keep up with the physicality of a college season.

Penn State last stop before Big Ten Tournament

This Saturday, the Wisconsin men’s soccer team (3-2-0 Big Ten, 8-7-2 overall) will play its final regular season game against a struggling Penn State team (0-5-0, 7-7-4) in State College, Penn. The Badgers will look to finish the season strong, particularly in third place in the Big Ten Conference, while the Nittany Lions are searching for their first conference win of the season.

The Badgers head into this final game proud of the season they have put together. They have improved vastly from last year, and most of the credit should go to head coach John Trask, who put together a great recruiting class and has tranformed these young players into great student athletes.

It is impressive how these young players have been able to handle the grueling duration of a college soccer season, especially in a conference as physical as the Big Ten.

“That’s all part of athletes learning what it’s like at the collegiate level,” Trask said. “We played nine games in 28 days. The last thing we wanted to do is wear everyone out and think that we are going to recreate the wheel this week.”

Trask talked about the importance of practicing what the team already does well instead of implementing new tactics.

Even though PSU has yet to earn a conference win, the Bagders should not look at their matchup as a walk in the park, though. The Nittany Lions have had a lot of unfortunate losses; in fact, all of PSU’s conference losses have come by one goal, and they even took the Ohio State Buckeyes into overtime.

“They’re .500; it doesn’t look like they have bought any luck in the Big Ten,” Trask said. “But they have seniors, and it’s senior day out there. Last year we beat them at home and the senior day helped us a lot. Penn State is going to come out firing, and if they beat us and go into the Big Ten Tournament strong they could be dangerous.”

All seven Big Ten teams will make the upcoming conference tournament in Ann Arbor, Mich.. The Badgers are playing for seeding at this point, with the ability to hold onto the three seed with a win against the Nittany Lions, who are locked in for the last seed in the tournament.

The Badgers can wrap up the season on a strong note with a good conference win away from home. If they can then make a run in the Big Ten tournament, they will have had an incredible turn around from last year.

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