The Wisconsin Badgers hosted the Penn State Nittany Lions for a 7 p.m. kickoff at the McClimon sports complex on Saturday. The Nittany Lions came into the game looking to extend their winning streak to three straight games, while the Badgers came into the game trying to turn around a recent sticky run of form.
With rain pelting the pitch, the game started sloppy on both sides, with neither team able to keep the ball for too long.
As the ball moved from end to end, there were fouls and scraps in the middle of the park but in the 11th minute, Nittany Lions goalkeeper Kris Shakes was forced to make a save as Noah Leibold had the Badgers first effort on target.
Despite momentum being with the Badgers, the Nittany Lions drew first blood. Jalen Watson squared the ball to Callum Pritchett, he tapped it in to score a goal in the 14th minute, and give his team the lead. Despite appeals from the Badger team, the goal stood and play commenced with the home team down by one goal.
The game continued with further battles in midfield, with players from both teams getting yellow cards.
Chances came both teams’ way in the first half but the Badgers had clearer opportunities, forcing great saves from Kris Shakes. By contrast, the Nittany Lions only forced one save from home team keeper Dean Cowdroy. The half ended with the Nittany Lions leading 1-0.
The game soon resumed and the second half was far slower than the first.
However, a corner taken by the Nittany Lions in the 66th minute resulted in a goal scored by Aaron Molloy and with that, the away side kept up their clinical form in front of goal and now had a two goal cushion.
The game seemed done and dusted at this point but the second goal seemed to spark a steady fight back from the Badgers. The home team weathered a few more attempts on goal before launching attacks that led to a goal in the 79th minute.
A corner was swung into the box and the ball was buried home by Inaki Irribaren for the Badgers to cut the deficit to 2-1, with 10 minutes left for a fight back.
The Badgers were buoyed by the goal and pushed for a second goal, but at the end, the Nittany Lions were able to see out a 2-1 victory.