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The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Soccer teams moving forward after down years

Following a disappointing 2007 campaign, the Wisconsin men’s soccer team hopes to makes the 2008 season one to remember.

The Badgers were plagued last season by an inability to finish offensively, a major reason for the team’s 6-7-6 overall record.

Increasing offensive production has been the team’s focus for much of the offseason, and head coach Jeff Rohrman has made some changes he hopes will provide a better scoring threat.


“We moved Scott Lorenz up into the attack to help bolster our offense,” Rohrman said. “I think by pairing him with Victor Diaz we should be able to improve significantly on our attack.”

The move did not come without causing problems, however.

“Moving Scott to the offensive side created a situation where we needed to find a new left back to replace him,” Rohrman said. “When you couple that with the loss of B.J. Goodman at right back, it left us with a significant hole in our defense.”

Despite the changes, Wisconsin still expects its defense to be a strongpoint.

The defense will be led by junior goalkeeper Alex Horwath, who posted seven shutouts in 17 starts last season for the cardinal and white. The makeup of the rest of the defense, however, remains to be seen.

One thing the 2008 Badgers will have in common with last year’s squad is the challenge of facing a difficult schedule throughout the season.

“I think if you look at strength of schedule last year, we were among the top teams in the nation,” Rohrman said. “This year, we have a tough schedule, but it is balanced and should challenge us.”

Rohrman is focused on being competitive in the Big Ten and will rely on the wealth of experience earned by nine returning players who started at least 12 games last year.

“We have a good core group of players that logged a lot of minutes for us last season,” Rohrman said. “Hopefully they will learn from last year and that experience will translate into success. Ultimately, with the experience we gained from last season we hope to compete for a Big Ten championship”

The Wisconsin women’s soccer team is looking for a similar turnaround from its 2007 campaign. Last season was the first for head coach Paula Wilkins at UW and proved to be a transition year for everyone involved. The team struggled mightily away from home, finishing 6-11-1 overall despite owning a 5-3 record at the McClimon Soccer Complex in Madison.

As Wilkins prepares for her second year with the Badgers, she sees the team making improvements every day.

“I’m really excited for this season and for this team,” Wilkins said. “The players really made strides in the spring as we worked on our philosophy and our system of play.”

The players have noticed the changes too.

“Everyone on the team is used to Paula now, so I think that will help everyone perform better,” senior goalkeeper Jamie Klages said. “As much as we need to be on the same page as players, it’s even more important for all of us to be on the same page with her, and I really think we have that now.”

Wisconsin hopes its combination of 13 new players — along with 16 players returning from last year — will prove to be a winning one. Yet with 12 freshmen and only five seniors, the Badgers will be very young.

“It’s always good to bring in new players with fresh blood and a new outlook,” Wilkins said. “The key will be the cohesiveness of the new and returning players. Our team’s success will depend on them being on the same page, well-organized and being fit.”

Two important factors in the cohesiveness will be the team’s co-captains, Klages and senior forward Taylor Walsh, who spent the summer in New Jersey playing for Jersey Sky Blue of the United Soccer Leagues W-League. In 11 games played, Walsh scored two goals — both game winners — and recorded one assist.

Wilkins praised both captains, noting she expects them to be integral in the 2008 season.

“I’m excited for both of them as captains and what that means for our team,” Wilkins said. “Every year is different, but I’m very excited for this season. I truly believe — with the right combination of new and old players — we will be better this year than last.”

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