The Wisconsin Badgers (1-1-0 Big Ten, 4-4-1 overall) scored a 1-0 over their in-state rival the Marquette Golden Eagles (1-1 Big East, 3-6 overall).
The Badgers were dominant in the first half, holding most of the possession and outshooting the Golden Eagles 8-1. Freshman forward Charles Spragg had an acrobatic bicycle kick attempt go just wide in the 19th minute while junior midfielder Duncan Storey also barely missed a few minutes later.
Wisconsin did most of their damage in their past two games against Indiana and Maryland, and they were able to score the winner after the hour mark.
It was a familiar combination as freshman forward Andrew Akindele and sophomore midfielder Michael Russell teamed up to score the goal.
Akindele won the ball with a crunching tackle against senior midfielder Martin Alba. The ball fell to Russell — the game-tying hero from last game against Maryland — and the former walk-on played Akindele into space and into the box.
Akindele, who played provider last game, finished the ball into the bottom right corner to give the Badgers the 1-0 lead. It was the former Chicago Fire standout’s second goal of the season, and he’s starting to become the focal point of the Wisconsin attack.
Toward the end of the game, Marquette was able to put a little bit more pressure on Wisconsin getting seven corners and forcing two saves by junior goalkeeper Dean Cowdroy.
With a busy schedule coming up, head coach John Trask was happy with the minutes from sophomore defender Ben Leas and Russell. He also was proud of how the team gutted out the victory against their in-state rivals.
"This is a part of college soccer. You can win by doing good things and you can win by battling. You have to have both those parts if you're going to be successful,” Trask said to uwbadgers.com. “I was very pleased today and I told them that. Now we look to Sunday for a huge Big Ten game against Michigan State."
Wisconsin continues Big Ten play against the No. 5 Michigan State Spartans on Sunday.