After suffering their first Big Ten loss on the road last weekend, the Wisconsin men’s soccer team returns home looking to rebound against a struggling St. Louis University Tuesday night.
The matchup against St. Louis hits home for much of a squad that has four players originally from St. Louis, Missouri, including junior forward Tom Barlow.
Barlow looks to continue his success against his hometown team after scoring the winning goal in the 105th minute last year to topple the Billikens. Also from St. Louis are junior forwards Mark Segbers and redshirt junior Nick Jones. Segbers has two goals in all six games this season while Jones has made an appearance in two games and recorded 26 minutes of play.
On the other side of the field, the Badgers defense will look to contain the explosive offense of St. Louis, led by sophomore Anthony Brown. Brown is tied for most points on the squad with a goal and and two assists in the still-young season, alongside redshirt sophomore Grant Owens.
Wisconsin’s leader in points, junior Christopher Mueller, has already notched two goals and a pair of assists through the team’s first five games this season. This kind of success on offense highlights a major improvement from last season for Mueller, who scored only three goals in the Badgers’ 2015 campaign.
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St. Louis comes to Madison in the middle of rough patch, winless in the last five games. Since SLU’s first win against Wake Forest Aug. 26, the Billikens have lost twice and posted three 1-1 ties, including their most recent battle with Virginia Commonwealth University this past Saturday.
A key for the Badgers in this matchup will be their defense with only a single shutout at this point this season. Fortunately for Wisconsin, St. Louis has been off to a slow start offensively this season with three scoreless games and no multiple-goal matches this year.
Coming off a double overtime loss has consequences for any team, but if the Badgers play a smart game and can capitalize on mistakes, they should be able to secure a win and regain some momentum before returning to Big Ten conference play.