A 10-man University of Wisconsin men’s soccer team (3-4, 0-2 Big Ten) fell 0-2 to the Rutgers Scarlet Knights (5-1-3, 2-0 Big Ten) Friday night in Madison after losing midfielder Iñaki Iribarren to a red card in the 23rd minute.
The team came off a loss to Penn State on the road last week, which was its first Big Ten match of the season.
Friday’s matchup started out fast-paced with both sides pressing and moving the ball quickly between their back lines and midfields. But the New Jersey side appeared to outpace Wisconsin throughout the night.
The Scarlet Knights took an early lead in the 16th minute when forward M.D. Myers — an academy product of Major League Soccer team Philadelphia Union — backheeled the ball to the center of the 18-yard box, where forward Jason Bouregy was making a run and scored with a shot into the bottom left corner of the net.
The game became chippy shortly after the goal in the 23rd minute with a questionable challenge from Wisconsin senior midfielder Iñaki Iribarren on Rutgers midfielder Cole Cruthers. Cruthers and Iribarren appeared to exchange further kicks after the whistle was blown, which evoked outrage from the Rutgers bench. Iribarren was sent off the pitch with a red card.
Wisconsin was not initially phased by its new 10-man status. The team had a few rapid breakaways led by forward Jack Finnegan, who was able to drive into the center of the field and distribute the ball.
But the Badgers struggled to put away multiple scoring opportunities. Wisconsin had 10 shots compared to the Scarlet Knights’ 11 throughout the game.
“Disappointing to lose with such a good crowd and a really good event pregame with the ‘March to McClimon,’” Badgers head coach Neil Jones said in a game recap. “Playing 10 vs. 11 against a good Rutgers team is always going to be a challenge. [I] thought the guys put in a really good shift but it was not quite enough.”
A season-high 1,117 fans attended the match at the McClimon Soccer Complex. The game was centered around The Colony, the official Area Red student section of the UW men’s soccer team. The group led the inaugural “March to McClimon” from the north lawn of Dejope Residence Hall along the Lakeshore Path to the stadium before the game.
Badgers goalkeeper Carter Abbott performed well and recorded three saves. The Wauwatosa native deflected a dangerous shot from Cruthers in the 54th minute that hit the woodwork, among other saves. Abbott also made three saves in Wisconsin’s 0-1 loss to Penn State.
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Rutgers secured its victory in the 67th minute when midfielder Jackson Temple found a deflected ball off of a forward run from Cruthers and slid it to the right side of goalkeeper Abbott.
Wisconsin will now host Northern Illinois at home on Wednesday. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. and the game will be streamed on BTN+.