The Wisconsin men’s soccer team squandered an early lead but fought back to earn a 2-2 tie against Marquette before a large and boisterous crowd at the McClimon Track and Soccer Complex. With the tie, UW stands at 6-1-1, including 3-0-1 at home.
The Badgers started the scoring just 13 minutes into the game as senior defender Scott Repa laid a perfect pass to senior forward Aaron Lauber, who headed the ball into the net to make it 1-0. It was Lauber’s fifth goal of the season, three of which have been headers.
“The defense was drifting more towards the middle of the field away from me and Repa saw me,” Lauber said. “We made eye contact, he put the ball where it needed to be and I got a good strike on it.”
Marquette (4-1-1) came right back in the 29th minute as freshman midfielder Chris Lee dribbled up the left side of the field and lofted a beautiful 25 foot shot into the upper right corner of the goal, just out of the reach of Badger goalkeeper Moriba Atiba Baker, to tie the game at one. With the goal, Lee took over the Golden Eagle’s season-scoring lead with ten points.
But the tie and Lee’s scoring lead did not last long. Just before the half, Marquette went ahead as senior forward Sean Reti won a scramble for the ball around the net and passed to junior forward Jeff Garlesits, who headed it in to give the Golden Eagles a 2-1 advantage. It was Garlesit’s second goal of the season, and Reti’s assist tied him with Lee for the points lead on the Marquette squad.
As the second half started, intensity on the field reached a heightened pitch. Referees handed numerous yellow cards and much pushing and shoving went on.
“This rivalry is one of the three most important games of the season and the last time the seniors get to play against an in-state team,” senior forward Dominic DaPra said. “Bragging rights were definitely on the line.”
Aaron Lauber echoed those statements.
“Both teams really wanted to win so bad,” Lauber said. “I didn’t see too many dirty plays, just a lot of rough play to get an advantage for your side.”
DaPra took advantage of that rough play. With three defenders around him, he stole the ball from the goalkeeper and somehow the ball went into the net to tie the game at two. DaPra’s controversial goal was his ninth of the season.
“I don’t even know if I hit it,” DaPra said. “The goalie probably should have just killed me, but luckily the ball went into the net and that’s the most important part.”
Coach Kalekeni Banda saw no problem with DaPra’s goal.
“That is an easy call to make,” Banda said. “Dominic worked hard to get that goal. He can out-jump any goalkeeper in the country.”
After DaPra’s goal, the teams played scoreless for almost 70 minutes, including the two overtimes. But there were some very anxious moments.
“We had a few chances in overtime, but we didn’t capitalize,” Banda said. “That’s what happens when your legs get tired. Those chances almost become half-chances.”
The Badgers received a scheduling break, playing this game Wednesday night instead of tonight, the original date. They will get another day to rest after playing a double-overtime match. That rest will likely be needed, as they open up their Big Ten season Sunday against the No. 13 Ohio State Buckeyes.