Men’s soccer to take on Spartans in Big Ten bout

first_imgGREG DIXON/Herald photoIn what is starting to become a familiar situation for Wisconsin, the men’s soccer team is hoping to rebound from a disappointing match and bring back the success it had earlier in the season.Coming off a recent loss to Western Illinois, UW will head to East Lansing to face Michigan State. Unlike the Badgers, Michigan State is in the midst of their hottest streak of the season. After starting out 1-3-0, the Spartans have rebounded to win three of their last four matches, including a 6-0 rout of Western Michigan. However, according to men’s head coach Jeff Rohrman, the Badgers still feel good heading into Sunday’s matchup.“We should be fairly confident, even though we’ve had a disappointing week-and-a-half,” Rohrman said. “We have to put our best foot forward and that will give us a chance to win those games.”The Badgers, coming off two consecutive games in which they gave up last minute goals, actually outplayed Western Illinois at the end of the game on Wednesday but were unable to overcome a goal at the beginning of the second half by the Leathernecks’ Cosimo Patano.To beat the Spartans, the Wisconsin defense is going to have to shut down a Michigan State attack that has put up outstanding numbers so far this year. Led by Doug DeMartin, the Spartans have scored 20 goals in their eight games.DeMartin, who had a hat trick against Penn State en route to a 4-3 victory, is averaging more than a goal per game and has 20 points for the season. Despite an impressive r?sum? thus far, Wisconsin feels they can still shut down DeMartin and company.“We just have to keep plugging along and be disciplined in our defensive effort,” Rohrman said. “We have to come out and just keep playing hard.”As impressive as the Spartans may seem on offense, their defense and goaltending this season has been quite suspect at times. The Spartans have given up 1.65 goals per game and at least three goals in a game on three separate occasions. A high scoring match, according to senior striker Victor Diaz, will play into the Badgers hands.“If we put everything together, we can score a lot of goals and not give up any goals,” Diaz said. “That seems to me that Michigan State is not that good of a team, so we have to try to take advantage of that.”Diaz, earlier in the season, was the key component behind the Badger attack, leading the team in scoring. Despite the team’s recent struggles, Diaz believes the team can rise to the difficult task.“It’s a challenge for us because it’s the middle of the season, and we have a lot of things going on,” Diaz said. “We just need to bring the whole spirit and work ethic to win games.”Beating Michigan State and getting the team’s first win in the Big Ten would be a major boost to the team’s morale.“I think the confidence of the team is good,” Diaz said. “I think it would be better if we start winning.”After battling Michigan State, Wisconsin will only have three Big Ten matches left, including two of the best teams of the conference in Northwestern and Ohio State.last_img

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