The UW Badgers (7-7-0, 1-2-0) will face another in-state rival when the Marquette Golden Eagles (6-5-1, 3-1-1) come to town Wednesday night. UW has a 1-1 record this season against in-state opponents and looks to get back on track against the non-conference opponent.
UW will be without junior forward Jed Hohlbein, who received a red card during the team’s last match. With Hohlbein out, Wisconsin will be missing its leading scorer with seven goals and three assists.
The Badgers have had mixed success against in-state opponents. Earlier this season, UW lost to UWGB 1-0; however, they beat UW-Milwaukee 1-0 earlier this month. Marquette has yet to face either team, but will face them in back-to-back matches toward the end of the month.
Both Wisconsin and Marquette have faced Illinois-Chicago. UW beat UIC by a score of 2-0, while Marquette was blanked 3-0 by the Flames.
Records tend to mean little when one Wisconsin team faces another. UW was expected to beat UWGB this season but was upset for the second straight year 1-0. By the same token, UW went into Milwaukee earlier this month and upset a team that many view to be the crown jewel of Wisconsin soccer.
“With these in-state games, records are thrown out the window,” UW head coach Jeff Rohrman said. “It’s a war every time you play.”
Marquette has been a streaky team this year. They lost three straight matches in the beginning of the season. Right after that, they won their next three matches to pull their record to 4-3. They went on to lose two, and then tied one and are now coming into Madison riding a two-match winning streak.
The Golden Eagles’ last loss came September 27 against the University of Alabama-Birmingham. Although they lost, it was a close score, 3-2, and it was against a very good squad, which has been in the top 25 national rankings this year.
Rohrman knows the young Marquette squad is playing well of late.
“Marquette, they’re going to be a little bit young,” Rohrman said. “They just had a great result against St. Louis. They tied them down there.”
Marquette’s biggest offensive threat is forward Chris Lee. The junior already has seven goals and one assist this season. Last year in Marquette’s 3-0 win over UW, Lee had two goals, including the game winner.
Lee is also on a hot streak. He tallied both of the team’s goals in Marquette’s most recent win, 2-1, over Wright State (7-3).
UW freshman defender Andrew Cardona is looking forward to another intense in-state match against a rival.
“It’s a huge game,” Cardona said. “It’s another in-state rivalry. We just have to come out strong. We’ll just have to bring some intensity. Every time we do that and play well, we get good results. Every time you come out against another team from Wisconsin, it’s going to be a tough game, no matter who you play … if we come out and play our game, we’ll be fine.”
Junior goalkeeper Eric Hanson has played well this season against in-state opponents, allowing only one goal in the two contests, including a shutout of UW-Milwaukee. Much like Cardona, Hanson is looking forward to the match.
“It’s going to be a big game. We have to win that game. There’s no way around it, we have to win it,” Hanson said. “We can get up for Marquette pretty good, so we’ll be alright.”
Although Jed Hohlbein will be out of the lineup for UW, senior tri-captain Erol Goknur may return to the line-up after his MRI proved negative. He suffered a concussion against Milwaukee after being hit in the head by a ball.