The Badgers men’s soccer team (1-1 Big Ten, 3-4-1 overall) were home for a practice this Tuesday in between a pair of their three-straight away games. In the last one, an 89th minute stunner by Michael Russell II and a deflection off of the face of Zach Klancnik into the net gave Wisconsin a 2-1 upset win over the University of Maryland Terrapins.
The victory on Friday night should give the Badgers some momentum heading into Wednesday’s match with the Marquette Golden Eagles (1-1 Big East, 3-5 overall) Wednesday night at Valley Fields in Milwaukee.
That doesn’t mean Marquette won’t be fired up too. They’ll be looking to avenge a 3-0 defeat at McClimon last year that was just one leg of a dismal campaign last year.
But this Wisconsin team is very different than the last team that beat Marquette last year. All three goal scorers won’t be playing, as both Tom Barlow and Chris Mueller are now playing professionally while junior defender Elan Koenig suffered a torn ACL and is out for the season.
Wisconsin’s offense has had some trouble finding its rhythm early on, scoring just seven goals in their first eight games, all by different scorers. Freshman forward Andrew Akindele leads the squad in points at four (one goal, two assists).
While Marquette’s attack hasn’t exactly been potent, it has the Badgers beat up to this point. The Golden Eagles have 12 goals through their first eight games. Juniors Connor Alba and Patrick Seagrist as well as freshman Lukas Sunesson have all pitched in with three goals on the season.
So far, the Badgers have been more of a second half team in recent games. In their games against the No. 2 Indiana Hoosiers and the Maryland Terrapins, they’ve scored all three of their goals in the second half or overtime. Marquette has also scored a majority of their goals after the first buzzer, so keep an eye out for an exciting second half.
Wisconsin has only won one game at Valley Fields since the turn of the decade with an overall record of 3-4-1 since 2010 against the Golden Eagles. The Badgers will look to even that series Wednesday night at 7:05.