The University of Wisconsin-Madison men’s soccer team returns home Tuesday to face in-state rival UW-Green Bay in an annual non-conference matchup. The Badgers (6-2-2, 3-1-1 Big Ten) are coming off a two game road trip with a 1-0 victory over Marquette University and a 1-1 draw against conference opponent Michigan State.
Both teams come in with streaks, although the Badgers are more favorable. The Badgers haven’t lost since their 2-1 double overtime defeat at the hands of Penn State late September. The team has won their games through lockdown defense, giving up only one goal over their past four.
On the other side, Green Bay (2-7-2, 1-2-2 Horizon) comes in struggling, going winless over the last five games with a record of 0-3-2 in that time span. Their last win came against Drake on Sept. 13, a match they won as Drake was forced to forfeit due to using an ineligible player. The only game and conference win the Phoenix truly won was a 1-0 battle with Wright State in the Horizon league.
UW’s record now stands at an impressive 6-2-2, including 3-1-1 in conference play. Meanwhile UW-Green Bay comes in at the opposite end of the spectrum, holding a lackluster record of 2-7-2. The Phoenix of Green Bay will also have to deal with the difficulties of playing on the road, where they have struggled to a 1-5-2 slump.
Much like their matchup earlier this season against Marquette, UW comes into the matchup looking for redemption after losing a year ago to Green Bay at home. Last season, the Phoenix came into Madison and left with a 3-2 exciting victory, one of their five wins in the 2015 season.
On the surface, the Badgers certainly appear to have the advantage coming into the match. Green Bay has been outshot by their opponents 154-72, leading to a scoring deficit of 16-4. For Madison, the squad has outshot their foes 118-107 and has outscored their opposition 12-7 in those games.
The road team will be led by freshman defender Andre Baires, who leads the Phoenix with four points and his two goals. The Badgers will look to their point leaders, junior midfielder Mike Catalano and junior midfielder Christopher Mueller, to carry them to victory over the outmatched foe. The two are tied for the team lead with eight points apiece, with both recording three goals and two assists.
The Badgers are favored going in, especially at home, but will have to be consistent with the play they’ve shown so far this year. The game kicks off at 7 p.m. at McClimon Soccer Complex Tuesday.