Another home game, another win for the University of Wisconsin-Madison men’s soccer team as they took down UW-Milwaukee at home Tuesday night, 3-0.
The victory finishes off the season series against in-state opponents, completing the Badgers’ sweep with wins of 1-0 over Marquette University and 3-0 over UW-Green Bay earlier this year.
The 3-0-0 record is a big improvement over last season when the Badgers went 1-1-1 against the same three opponents, which proved to hurt the squad come conference play.
For most of the first half Tuesday’s game, the UW-Milwaukee Panthers (6-6-2, 3-2-1 Horizon) kept pressure on the defensive front of the Badgers (8-3-2, 3-2-1 Big Ten), pushing the ball forward and challenging the possession of the defenders. The home squad was able to take advantage of the aggressive play and struck for their first goal of the game early in the match.
Senior midfielder Brian Hail found the back of the net after the keeper was put out of position by a cross from the end line. The ninth minute strike was the first goal on the season for Hail and came off of the third assist on the season from junior forward Mark Segbars.
Coming out of the gate in the second half, the momentum switched as the Badgers played to the formula of the Panthers and kept pressure on Milwaukee’s backline with three shots and a corner kick in the first five minutes. Soon afterwards, UW-Madison won a penalty kick when UW-Milwaukee redshirt sophomore Jason Palitang Svensson was given a yellow card for his tackle of Badger junior midfielder Mike Catalano in the box. Junior Christopher Mueller was able to calmly take advantage of the penalty kick, guiding the ball smoothly into the bottom right corner of the goal. It was Mueller’s fifth goal of the season.
The third and final goal of the game came from sophomore defender Sam Brotherton, the recent call-up for the New Zealand national team, in the 70th minute. The goal was the Auckland, New Zealand defender’s second in two games since his return from international play.
Overall, the strike was his third on the season and moved him into fourth on the team with six points. Brotherton has been far more aggressive in his sophomore season and adds a depth to the Wisconsin offense to go along with a dominant defensive front.
The next game for the Badgers is this Friday against Indiana University. The conference game will be the second match of a four game stretch at home to end regular season play for Wisconsin.