The Wisconsin men’s soccer team (6-2-0 Big Ten, 9-5-2 overall) has a habit of keeping their fans waiting until the last moment to finish off their opponents.
Their past three games have all ended by a golden goal in double overtime with the latest game another 1-0 win to beat the Ohio State Buckeyes (0-7-1, 1-14-2).
Once again, it was a freshman who scored the late winner. Forward Andrew Akindele, sprinted past a defender, hit the keeper in the chest with a shot, recovered the rebound and drilled it into the back of the net. Standing right next to him during the rebound shot was fellow freshman forward Noah Melick, the late-game hero against Northwestern and Michigan.
Neither team had a shortage of chances in regulation. The Badgers beat junior keeper Parker Siegfried on multiple occasions just to have the ball cleared by an Ohio State defender. The Buckeyes utilized set pieces to get their best chances, including one in the first half that hit the crossbar.
The Badgers played a physical brand of soccer that cost them in free kicks. By the end of the game, Wisconsin had 19 fouls compared to nine by Ohio State. Many of those free kicks created Buckeye chances, but the defense and junior keeper Dean Cowdroy kept the attacks at bay.
This game cements Wisconsin as the holder of second place in the Big Ten Tournament, only behind No. 2 overall Indiana.
The Badgers will host the No. 7 seed Rutgers Scarlet Knights next Sunday, who they already net 4-2 at home earlier in the season.
"We're excited to get out here and host in Big Ten tournament play,” said head coach John Trask.