The high-intensity matchup ended with a calm overtime period in the Badgers’ first Big Ten match this season last week.
The University of Wisconsin men’s soccer team (3-2-2, 0-0-1 Big Ten) drew 1-1 to the Michigan State Spartans (4-3-1, 0-0-1 Big Ten) in front of nearly 1,200 spectators at the McClimon Soccer Complex last Friday.
The Badgers entered their first Big Ten match this season with momentum from their double-overtime win against Marquette Monday and a previous win against Butler.
The first half was fast-paced and frantic for both sides, with players committing many fouls and Badgers’ forward Noah Melick receiving a yellow card for a high slide tackle in the eighth minute. There were only a few scoring opportunities early in the game as the ball moved rapidly within the midfield.
Badgers’ forward Andrew Akindele almost changed that narrative in the 15th minute following a giveaway from Spartans’ goalie Hunter Morse. He received the ball within the 18-yard-box from a give-and-go before shooting into Morse’s hands.
The Spartans returned the favor in the 25th minute when Josh Adams put away a header from a corner served by Jack Beck. The goal was a shock to the Badgers in a seemingly even-matched first half, but the score reflected the unpredictable nature of the game.
The Badgers increased their tempo following the goal and pressed higher up the field. This led defender Zack Klancnik to commit a risky foul on the edge of the box in the 35th minute. But, the aggression began to pay off when a Badger midfielder almost finished a half-volley that streaked over the crossbar in the 37th minute.
The second half started with a promising volley shot from the Spartans’ Jack Beck in the 59th minute. But, the Badgers were more composed for the rest of the game. They committed less fouls and were able to control the overhead balls from Michigan State that created a hectic first half.
The Badgers stretched the Spartans’ back line more and began playing balls into forwards. This created space at the top of the 18-yard-box, which Badgers’ midfielder Ignasi Marques used to score in the 70th minute.
Marques hit the ball into the top right corner of the goal. This equalizer set off a raucous celebration among student fans at the north end of the stadium and set a dominant tone for the Badgers.
But both teams seemed to settle for a draw once the game entered the overtime period. They focused on possession and were less proactive in pressing into the 18-yard-box on both ends of the field.
Michigan State outshot the Badgers nine to four during the course of the game.
By the second overtime half, players appeared exhausted and were more concerned with keeping a draw than looking to win the match. Badgers head coach John Trask made only a few substitutions throughout the combined 110 minutes.
The Badgers will now travel east to face Rutgers in Piscataway, New Jersey on Friday.