The Wisconsin Badgers men’s soccer team (1-1 Big Ten, 3-2-2 overall) couldn’t quite beat the Duke Blue Devils (1-1 ACC, 5-1-1) in a roller coaster of a game that featured seven goals and two red cards that finished 4-3.
The Badgers had great success in the early stages and made good use of their early possession to get the first two goals. Senior midfielder Mike Catalano opened the scoring in the ninth minute after heading in a corner from senior midfielder Chris Mueller. Catalano continued his good run of form, and scored his team-tying third goal of the season to give the Badgers a 1-0 lead.
Wisconsin doubled its advantage in a similar way in the 23rd minute. Mueller again served up a great corner which ended up arriving in the path of senior forward Mark Segbers as he struck a great volley to make the scoreline, 2-0.
Before halftime, however, the Badgers lost their lead and a man. In the 28th minute, Duke got one back after senior defender Kevon Black put one in from 12 yards thanks to an assist by sophomore midfielder Daniele Proch. Duke gained even more momentum after Badgers goal scorer Mark Segbers earned a second yellow card, giving the Blue Devils a man advantage. They made the most of their extra player as sophomore midfielder Jack Doran’s shot from distance went past Wisconsin senior goalkeeper Phillip Schilling to level the game at two.
Straight after halftime, things got worse for the Badgers. 33 seconds after the opening kickoff, Duke’s senior forward Cameron Moseley gave the Blue Devils their first advantage. The Duluth, Ga. native beat the Badgers’ defense for pace after a clearance from Duke’s opening goal scorer Black went nicely into the forward’s path. At 3-2 and with a man advantage, Duke looked to have put this game beyond doubt.
That’s when Chris Mueller stepped up again.
After Duke freshman defender Matthias Frick received a red card in the 76th minute thanks to a foul worthy of a second yellow, Mueller stepped up to take the ensuing free kick from 25 yards out. Wisconsin’s number 10 lived up to the playmaking status of his shirt, as he struck the ball into the upper left-corner of the net to lead the second comeback of the night — this time in the Badgers’ favor — and tie the game at 3-3. Now with both sides playing with 10 men, it appeared to be anyone’s contest.
Two minutes later, the contest was decided. Duke freshman goalkeeper Will Pulisic punted the ball out from his box on the right hand side. Cameron Moseley muscled off his defender, and the beautiful punt from Christian Pulisic’s cousin combined with Moseley’s pace left him one-on-one with the keeper. He slotted the ball past Schilling, scoring his second on the night and sealing the 4-3 win for Duke.
Despite the loss, Duke’s head coach John Kerr was full of praise for the Badgers.
“[Wisconsin is] a really good team. They’re hard working, they’re gritty and they’re talented. Their two front-runners [Mueller and Barlow] were very impressive tonight. They did a solid job and they’re going to win a lot of games this year,” Kerr told goduke.com.
It was a disappointing loss for Wisconsin, who have yet to win away from home this season. They’ll return home to face the Penn State Nittany Lions this Saturday.