In what has been a disappointing season, the Wisconsin men’s soccer team (2-10-3, 0-4-2) showed improvement on the road in last week’s tie against Michigan (7-4-4, 2-1-3).
After a first half that didn’t see any fireworks, play escalated in the 74th minute after Michigan scored the opening goal. Wisconsin responded in no time after senior captain Noah Leibold netted a penalty kick goal — his second total goal of the year. Leibold’s contribution concluded the offensive scoring for the night, resulting in a tie.
In the last week of the season, the Badgers undergo two critical Big Ten matchups, the first of which will be their last home game of the season against Northwestern on Wednesday.
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In what has been a roller coaster season for Northwestern, the team has improved their play as of late by winning two consecutive games against Rutgers and Michigan State.
Much of the reason for Northwestern’s success has been their superb goalkeeping play. Junior goalkeeper Miha Miskovic has been locked in the net. With back-to-back clean sheets, Miskovic recorded his fourth total shutout of the year over the weekend.
Miskovic, one of the nation’s best goalkeeper, ranked ninth in the country with nine clean sheets last season. For Dean Cowdroy and Leibold, the ending will be bittersweet as — while the team may not have exceeded their goals — both players have played a tremendous role in Red and White.
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Following Wednesday’s game, Wisconsin travels to Columbus for their Big Ten regular-season finale against The Ohio State University on Sunday. Barring an outright victory against Northwestern, this will serve as their last opportunity to capture a victory in the Big Ten before this season concludes.
The Buckeyes season has been filled with home struggles. While Ohio State has played well away from Columbus, the team has struggled mightily at home, posting a relatively disappointing 2-6-1 record when compared to their overall record of 6-8-1.
Senior midfielder Jack Holland has been at the center of Ohio State’s attack all season long. After only scoring two points in the entire 2018 season, the Dublin Ohio product has been Ohio State’s most improved player, leading the team with 14 points.
Holland’s coming-out party came in the 2019 Wolstein classic. Holland found the back of the net twice and added an assist. For his play, Holland was awarded All-tournament team honors.
To avoid a winless conference season, the Badgers must split one of their final two conference games. Key players will have to step up in this final stretch of the season, namely Cowdroy who, for much of the season, as held the Badgers back from the brink of being dominated by their opponents.
If everything is able to come together for the Badgers during their seniors’ last game at home of their careers, then they must just be able to pull off the upset.