Men’s soccer offensive struggles continue against Ohio State

first_imgAlthough the Wisconsin men’s soccer team seemed to outplay Ohio State Saturday, the scoreboard would not indicate the same as the Buckeyes escaped McClimon Complex with a 2-0 win.Despite Wisconsin (2-9-2, 0-5-0 Big Ten) controlling much of the game against OSU (5-5-3, 3-2-0), the Badgers came out of the match still searching for their first Big Ten win for the year as their winless streak stretched to three games.In the 25th minute of the first half, the Badgers thought they had broken through when forward Tom Barlow scored on a breakaway, but the goal called back after Barlow was called for offsides. Ten minutes later, Ohio State broke the tie when forward Christian Soldat headed in a cross from freshman forward Marcus McCrary to give the Buckeyes a 1-0 lead, which held up going into halftime.“[McCrary] sent in a good cross. Adam [Lauko] had good position on the guy who was right behind and the guy just flicked it, perfect flick over the keeper,” Badger midfielder Drew Conner said. “It was just a really lucky goal.”After getting off to a slow start, the Badgers’ attack really started to pick up in the second half, recording nine of their 12 shots on goal.According to UW freshman forward Mark Segbers, the Badgers found more success creating opportunities by adjusting their game plan to stretch out Ohio State’s 4-5-1 formation.“I think we were trying to jam it down the middle too much and that’s where most of their numbers were,” Segbers said. “It took us a little while to figure that out. The main goal was to try to get it out wide and get a good cross in whether it was on the ground or in the air.”Despite the flurry of scoring chances for Wisconsin in the second half, the Badgers were not able to put any of them in the back of the net. The score would stay 1-0 until the last minute of the game when McCrary sealed the victory for Ohio State by scoring on a breakaway as Wisconsin’s defenders were pushed up in an all-out effort to tie the game.“We had a lot of action in their box and sometimes it falls for you, sometimes it doesn’t,” Wisconsin head coach John Trask said. “It seemed like we were going to get something with what we were doing out there in the second half.”According to Trask, coming up short despite outplaying an opponent is just an unfortunate part of the game sometimes.“Soccer, as I’ve said before, can be a cruel game just because you dominate territory or dominate possession, but at the end of the day, it’s about putting the ball in the goal, which isn’t always an easy thing to do,” Trask said.In addition to not converting their chances, the Badgers’ lack of physicality due to their youth is what held them back in Saturday’s match, according to Trask.“I would say they were bigger than us in terms of size, but [Ohio State] was bigger physically,” he said. “It’s noticeable that they were a little bit older in some spots of the field.”While disappointed by not getting the win, Trask was still encouraged by how his team played Saturday night.“I was pleased with the effort. We played midweek, they didn’t. I thought we had a good energy,” Trask said. “I thought we played pretty good other than the one bang-bang goal that they got.”Trask went on to praise the play of junior midfielder Drew Conner and freshman midfielder Mike Catalano, who each recorded two shots on goal for the Badgers.“Both Mike and Drew won a lot of balls, won a lot of air-balls, which is important in a Big Ten game, but I also thought [they] played some very good soccer, moved the ball quickly through the middle of the field, either side-to-side or up and back,” Trask said of his central midfielders. “I really like what those two guys are doing.”While Wisconsin is still searching for its first Big Ten win, Conner was confident that better results will start to come as the Badgers continue to build on their quality effort against Ohio State.“We know we’re close,” Conner said. “We know we’re not far off. I don’t think our record represents this team very well at all.”Trask echoed Conner’s sentiment and was adamant that his team has what it takes to reach its full potential. But with so many young players, that could take time.“I know there’s really good things in the future for this group because they’re not going to bail and I know they’re going to work their butts off in the offseason,” Trask said.last_img

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