A double overtime game-winner saw the University of Wisconsin men’s soccer team (7-5-2, 4-2 Big Ten) upset No. 18 Michigan (9-4-1, 3-2-1 Big Ten) at the McClimon Complex Friday.
Freshman Noah Melick was the man to send the fans home happy when his 107th-minute strike sailed past Michigan goalkeeper Henry Mashburn and into the back of the net. The late winner adds to Melick’s fine run of attacking form — his third goal in three games.
The match was tightly contested throughout as Wisconsin battled hard to fight off the attacking advances from their highly ranked opponent. Michigan applied plenty of pressure, especially in the second half when they had 10 shots to Wisconsin’s three.
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But Badger goalkeeper Dean Cowdroy and his defense were up to the task and remained staunch, refusing to let Michigan in, with Cowdroy posting his sixth shutout of the season.
In a post-match conversation with UW Athletics Wisconsin head coach John Trask was full of praise for his defense.
“We pressed the game in overtime because I knew our backs wouldn’t get beat in the air or on the ground,” Trask said. “That’s how much confidence I have in that back four in tough situations.”
The Badgers were physical throughout, with referee Calin Radosav calling 20 fouls on the home side, to go along with 13 on their opponents, no cards were brandished however.
Wisconsin’s gritty defense in the face of a daunting Michigan attack — who had registered 28 goals in 11 outings prior to the match — allowed their own attack a platform on which they could seal the victory in double overtime. A point that was reiterated by head coach John Trask.
“There is something special about a team that can win games in overtime — it’s very hard to do,” Trask said. “To pitch a shutout against that team and give our attack a shot to score a goal was simply outstanding.”
The victory leaves Wisconsin sitting third in the Big Ten standings with two fixtures remaining on their schedule. They travel to Northwestern (4-7-5, 0-4-3 Big Ten) Wednesday and then return home against The Ohio State (1-12-2, 0-5-1 Big Ten) to conclude the regular season Sunday.