[media-credit name=’GREGORY DIXON/Herald photo’ align=’alignright’ width=’336′][/media-credit]Every season, several key games seem to be marked on the calendar as dates to keep an eye on for each team.
These games are usually rivalry games or games that will have great significance on the outcome of a season.
With Wednesday's game at the McClimon Soccer Complex, the UW men's soccer team looks to finish off its slate of nonconference rivalries with a win.
So far this season, both games with in-state rivals UW-Milwaukee and UW-Green Bay have ended in ties after a combined 220 minutes of play. Sitting at 5-5-3, the Badgers get a chance to improve that record against the Marquette Golden Eagles under the lights tonight.
"A win against Marquette would certainly go a long way in terms of not only in-state bragging rights, but also in terms of the big picture — positioning ourselves for a good run down the stretch," Rohrman said. "Our guys are motivated and know what they need to do now that the Big Ten Tournament is right around the corner."
Wisconsin, fresh off a tough 2-1 loss Saturday against Ohio State, has only scored two goals in its last four games. Since the offensive explosion of four goals in a shutout of Northern Illinois three weeks ago, the offense has been having a lot of trouble finishing, a trend that seemed to have come to an end just 10 minutes into its game versus Ohio State.
"That first goal definitely gave us some momentum and confidence. Unfortunately, we weren't able to clear the ball in certain instances and that put a little more pressure than we would have liked on the defense," Rohrman said.
One of the positive things taken out of the loss to the Buckeyes this weekend was the improved offensive play of the Badger forwards. Sophomore Brandon Miller and junior Victor Diaz got the start up top and made their presence known right away.
"We found that even though (Diaz and Miller) had never played with each other up top, they seemed to complement each other very well," Rohrman said. "They certainly showed themselves to be a very dangerous tandem in the final third, whether it is individually or playing off of each other. And when you can throw in a guy like (sophomore midfielder) Pablo Delgado in there as well, you've got a lot of skill moving forward with the ball."
Hopefully for the Badgers, a couple more days with the new formation will prove to be just what they need, despite their current three-game losing streak. The Golden Eagles have been in one of the worst scoring slumps in the nation, however, only managing two goals in their last eight contests.
In terms of their overall results, Wisconsin and Marquette are remarkably similar, as both teams have beaten Northern Illinois, tied UW-Green Bay, and lost to Northwestern as well as Drake, leading to the belief that this matchup will certainly be exciting for the fans in Madison tonight.
With only four games left in the regular season before the team heads off to East Lansing for the annual Big Ten Tournament, look for Wisconsin to show the crowd at McClimon tonight why this particular matchup is ready to be checked off the list and crossed off the board.