Even with the stands at McClimon Soccer Complex full as part of the annual “Pack the Mac” event, the Wisconsin Badgers (Big Ten 0-1-0, overall 2-4-1) fell to the No. 2 Indiana Hoosiers (1-0-0, 6-1-0) 3-1 on Sunday afternoon.
Hoosiers’ senior midfielder Cory Thomas came out of the gates swinging and sent a bullet to the back of the net from the top of the box to give Indiana a 1-0 lead three minutes into the game.
The Badgers struggled to find their attack in the first half, getting outshot 10 to two by IU. A header from Indiana senior forward Andrew Gutman did not help Wisconsin’s struggles and put them down 2-0 at the half, something that Trask believes was crucial for Indiana.
“I thought the second goal was a back breaker before halftime,” head coach John Trask said to uwbadgers.com. “If we kept it 1-0, do we give ourselves a chance?”
Freshman forward Andrew Akindele was one of the lone bright spots of the first half for the Badgers, shaking IU defenders after coming on as a substitute. His flashy dribbling gave Wisconsin some of their only chances in the first half.
IU had a number of chances at the end of the first half, but a header to put the ball over their own net by Zach Klancnik kept Wisconsin in the game.
After halftime adjustments by Coach Trask, the Badgers showed an aggression to begin the second half that was missing earlier in the game.
Akindele had a number of chances after the halftime break, but was not able to put any away. In the 53rd minute, Akindele fell inside the six yard box after a ball was passed in, which sent Trask into a fit of rage directed at the referees. He also created a chance in the 60th minute that freshman forward Charles Spragg could not get past sophomore keeper Trey Muse.
Wisconsin got back into the game in the 71st minute, when a corner kick from junior midfielder Noah Leibold found the foot of defender Patrick Yim for the first goal of his college career. The crowd was energized and the goal and a strong second half gave UW momentum.
Enter Andrew Gutman, momentum killer.
A savvy counterattack by the Hoosiers in the 78th minute ended with an open net on the far post for Gutman, who ended any chance the Badgers had of pulling out a win or draw. IU parked the bus after the dagger, which spelled the end of the game.
“We cut the lead to 2-1 and then give up, can't say it any other away, it's a soft third goal, you can't give up that goal. We had to give ourselves a chance to potentially get back in that game and maybe we'd be playing right now,” Trask said.
The Badgers travel next to College Park, Maryland where they’ll take on conference foes Maryland Terrapins (1-0-0, 2-2-2) on Friday.