Senior striker Dominic DaPra posted his second career hat trick as the Wisconsin men’s soccer team claimed the Rocky Rococo Classic title with a 3-1 victory over Alabama A&M Sept. 2 at the McClimon Soccer Complex. DaPra was named the tournament’s offensive MVP after scoring five goals in two games, while UW goalkeeper Moriba Atiba Baker earned defensive MVP honors.
Senior defender Scott Repa used a long pass off a free kick to set up DaPra for Wisconsin’s first goal in the 16th minute of play. Alabama A&M, who defeated Northern Illinois on Friday, evened the score at 1-1 in the 23rd minute when Arthur Byasiima took a quick pass from Abdou Manneh and fired it in from the top of the goal box.
The score remained tied through halftime as both defenses and goalies came up with several tough stops. At the 59:09 mark, Wisconsin gained a man advantage due to a red card called on the Bulldogs.
DaPra scored the game winner in the 74th minute off a short centering pass from Erol Goknur and then added some insurance two minutes later with a bullet from the center of the field set up by freshman John McGrady and junior Aymar Sinaise.
Repa and fellow defender Joe Anderson, a freshman, joined DaPra and Baker on the all-tournament team. Alabama A&M was represented on the all-tournament team by midfielders Byasiima and Mujib Kasule and forward Eugene Ssepuya.
St. Francis, who defeated Northern Illinois, 3-1, in the early game, placed midfielder Joseph Afful, defender Ron Azinge and forward Ricardo Ordain on the team, while NIU was represented by forward Andrew Contin and defender Peter Agrimson.
DaPra performed well for UW in the Badgers’ first game of the season Aug. 31 when he scored two goals to help lead Wisconsin to a 3-0 victory over St. Francis. UW goalkeeper Baker recorded four saves in his seventh career shutout.
After a scoreless first half, during which the Badgers outshot St. Francis 9-4, a pair of freshmen teamed up in the 54th minute to give Wisconsin its first goal of the 2001 season. Ryan Nord made a long crossing pass in front of the net to Nicolas Aguilar, who headed it past the near post.
Just 30 seconds later, the Badgers gained some insurance when DaPra, who was fouled inside the box, took the ensuing penalty kick and rifled it into the lower left corner to give the Badgers a 2-0 advantage.
Wisconsin extended its lead to 3-0 in the 75th minute when DaPra again found the back of the net, this time from about 15 yards away off a long centering pass from junior Sinaise.
–compiled from staff reports