Head coach Jeff Rohrman got his first chance to test the Wisconsin men?s soccer team against outside competition this week as the Badgers went 2-0-1 in a three-game spring break trip to North Carolina.
The Badgers, who finished last season 10-8-1, defeated North Carolina State 2-0 on Sunday, tied the Wilmington Hammerheads 1-1 on Monday, and finished their spring break trip with a 3-0 shutout against UNC-Wilmington on Tuesday. Freshmen David Martinez and Nick Van Sicklen tallied two goals apiece on the trip.
Rohrman, a former Maryland assistant, was hired after the resignation of former Badger head coach Kalekeni Banda in early January. Rohrman was very positive about the progress that he and the team have made, progress that they hope will carry over into next year?s season.
“Overall this has been a very good trip,” said Rohrman. “The guys have gotten to know me a little bit and I think they have gained some confidence in what we are looking to do next season.”
In Sunday?s 2-0 victory over NC State, which featured three 30-minute periods, senior Valentine Anozie notched a goal off a rebound, while Van Sicklen added some insurance, curling a shot to the far post in a 2-on-1 situation.
“We played a very complete game against NC State on Sunday,” Rohrman said. “The team played well, the guys were focused and it was a good confidence boost to shut out an ACC school.”
Martinez tallied UW?s lone goal against the Hammerheads, a Division 3 professional league team, in a regulation game of two 45-minute halves. Martinez redirected an errant shot from Van Sicklen for the score.
“Playing less than 24 hours after our first game, we were a bit tired against the Hammerheads,” Rohrman remarked. “I thought we were the better team, but we just lacked some energy. Tuesday, they responded very well versus Wilmington.”
Playing just two 30-minute halves against the Wilmington Seahawks on Tuesday, the Badgers got goals from Van Sicklen, Martinez and sophomore Watson Vaughan Prather. Prather scored with a header off a free kick by Erol Goknur, while Van Sicklen netted a 25-yard shot to the far corner. Martinez completed the game by putting a late penalty kick past the Wilmington goaltender.
The Badgers will continue their spring schedule when they take on the Milwaukee Rampage in a home contest on Friday, April 12. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. at the McClimon Soccer Complex.