Badger soccer looks to gain momentum heading into Big Ten play

Sitting at 2–2, Wisconsin faces key non-conference stretch before their Big Ten opener

· Sep 11, 2019 Tweet

Daniel Yun/The Badger Herald

The University of Wisconsin men’s soccer team looks to bounce back following a disappointing performance at the Lakeside Classic in Evanston last week. In their tournament opener against Bowling Green State University, the Badgers struggled to find the back of the net, losing a tightly-contested 1–0 match. 

Following a regrettable opening-round loss, the Badgers defeated Lehigh University 2-1 in the second game of the Lakeside Classic. Wisconsin relied on an offensive underclassman barrage, as freshman Iñaki Irribarren and sophomore Bobby Harris both scored.

This week Wisconsin faces a critical non-conference test, first traveling to Indianapolis to face the feisty Butler Bulldogs. The Bulldogs (2-1-0) look to rebound at home following a hard-fought road defeat at the hands of Marshall (2-0-1). It would be a mistake for the Badgers to overlook the Bulldogs as Butler currently rides a two-game home winning streak. 

A key for a Badger victory will be containing Butler’s senior sensation, Brandon Guhl. The former All-Big East First Team selection and Co-Offensive Player of the Year has been on a tear to start his senior campaign, scoring in all three games to this point.

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After Thursday’s game, the Badgers return to Madison for a Sunday showdown against Portland. The Pilots come in red-hot, shutting out their opponents in both of their past two games and scoring a whopping nine goals overall. 

Luckily, the Badgers counter Portland’s offensive attack with experience. Seniors Elan Koenig and 2018 All-Big Ten second team member Robin Olofsson will play critical roles in slowing down the Pilots.

Furthermore, senior goalkeeper Dean Cowdroy will add an additional security blanket on the back-end. After transferring from Lander University, Cowdroy filled in nicely last year, posting a 10-6-2 record in 18 matches.

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On the offensive end, senior midfielder Noah Leibold will be a major factor this week for the Badgers. Over the past three years, Leibold has been a staple of the Badger offensive attack, starting 63 consecutive matches dating back to his freshman season. Leibold is already off to a hot start in 2019, leading the team with four shots.  

A sweep is critical this week for the Badgers as the following week the team travels to Bloomington to face defending Big Ten champion, Indiana.


This article was published Sep 11, 2019 at 6:45 pm and last updated Sep 11, 2019 at 6:46 pm


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