Men’s Soccer: Wisconsin hosts Penn State as Badgers continue to search for first Big Ten victory

Badgers are 0-3-1 in Big Ten games with just four games remaining

· Oct 17, 2019 Tweet

Daniel Yun/The Badger Herald

The University of Wisconsin men’s soccer team (2-9-2, 0-3-1 Big Ten) failed to notch their first conference win last week against Rutgers. After a scoreless first half, Rutgers found its groove, scoring three second-half goals en route to a 3–0 victory.

Following the loss in Piscataway, the Badgers traveled home for a non-conference matchup against SIUE. In the game, the Badgers displayed promise early on a surprising goal off a corner kick from sophomore defender Michael Hong.

After back-to-back SIUE goals, sophomore Matthew Comiskey lasered a shot past the keeper in ’87, earning the Badgers a hard-fought tie.

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With four games remaining before the conference tournament, Wisconsin resumes Big Ten play Saturday at home against Penn State. After a disappointing 2018 campaign, Penn State (7-2-2, 3-1-1) has turned it around this year, already exceeding their win total from last year with five games left to play.

The Nittany Lions also are coming off an emotional 3–1 win against in-state rival, Pittsburgh. This turnaround has given Head Coach Jeff Cook and his team a lot of momentum heading into this weekend’s contest. 

Freshman forward Liam Butts deserves much of the credit for Penn State’s improvement. Butts has scored six goals on the year, including two in his team’s critical win against Northwestern. For his performance, Butts was named the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week on Tuesday. 

Another intriguing player for Penn State is senior forward Aaron Molloy. The Dublin native has had an illustrious career in Collegeville, starting over 40 games. As a two-time captain, Molloy is the leader of this Nittany Lion group and he’s been able to find the back of the net five times thus far.

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With only four games remaining, time is dwindling in a Badger uniform for Noah Leibold. A four-year starter, Leibold has been a cog in the Badgers’ attack. For an upset on Saturday, Leibold and the Badger offense need to get going. The Badgers rank last in the Big Ten with just eight goals.

Wisconsin hasn’t won in over a month. Last week’s tie may have been the momentum that Head Coach John Trask’s team needed to get Wisconsin over the hump. With the season winding down, Wisconsin needs to play its best soccer now more than ever.


This article was published Oct 17, 2019 at 7:29 pm and last updated Oct 17, 2019 at 8:52 pm


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