The University of Wisconsin-Madison men’s soccer team returned home in rousing fashion Tuesday night against in-state rival UW-Green Bay, routing the Phoenix in a 3-0 defeat.
The win pushed UW-Madison’s record to 6-2-2 this season, including a 5-0-0 undefeated stance at home. For the Phoenix, the disappointing season continues as they watched their record fall to 2-7-2 overall.
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UW-Madison junior forward Christopher Mueller continued his impressive season by opening the Badgers scoring attack with a free-kick strike in the 24th minute that soared past the keeper’s reach and into the upper left corner of the net. The goal was Mueller’s fourth of the season, lifting his point total up to a team-high total of 11.
The Badgers kept the pressure on their opponent for the rest of the match, dominating possession and dictating the pace to their whim. The relentless control allowed the Badgers to carefully choose their scoring opportunities, which resulted in two more goals by senior defender Matej Radonic in the 35th minute and junior forward Mark Segbers in the 52nd minute. Both scores were the second of the season for each player.
The home team also continued their streak of dominant defense as the Phoenix were held to only seven total shots on the match. The majority of those takes, however, were off target. The visitors only managed one shot on goal, which didn’t come until the 63rd minute, when the outcome of the game had been all but decided. The defense was also able to draw Green Bay offsides three times over the course of the game.
As with most in-state rivalry matches, some of the plays got chippy as the scoring margin grew, causing the referees to take action and hand out four yellow cards throughout the duration of the match, including three in the second half. Two of those were signaled simultaneously in the 90th minute when Badgers forward Blake Carr and Green Bay defender Andre Baires got into a heated altercation.
The cushioned lead allowed the Badgers to rest some of their starters toward the end of the game, giving some of Wisconsin’s bench to get valuable experience. When the final whistle blew, the Badgers managed to substitute a season-high nine players off the bench. UW-Madison’s backup goalkeeper Casey Bayers and reserve forward Nate Bladecki got to see their first action of the season.
UW-Madison returns to action this Friday as the Badgers hit the road for the last away-game of the season this Friday and take on Big Ten leader University of Maryland in College Park.