Despite scoring chances from substitutions, UW still held scoreless

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first_imgA pair of late substitutions brought energy to the Wisconsin men’s soccer team, but it was not enough to overcome an early deficit deficit, as the Badgers fell to Ohio State 2-0.Wisconsin seemed in control for the majority of the game, having possession for long periods of time in the first half. But the Badgers couldn’t transfer the extended possessions into scoring opportunities.Meanwhile, the Buckeyes scored off a bounce off the foot of Wisconsin junior midfielder Drew Conner, which sent the ball straight into the path of Ohio State’s Marcus McCrary. McCrary crossed it to Christian Soldat for a header goal in the first half and Ohio State never relinquished the lead.Outside of that opportunity, the Badgers dominated time of possession, but needed to make some changes to create chances on goal.Freshman midfielder Chris Mueller entered the game in the 57th minute to play on the right side of the field, so Wisconsin could use his speed to attack one-on-one.In the 74th minute, the Badgers brought on senior captain Jacob Brindle as a forward to try to win headers in the box.“I know coach likes to bring them off the bench because they have so much energy, which I love,” Badgers forward Mark Segbers said. “Mueller is very good at one-on-ones to get free and get some crosses, and Brindle is good in the air. He is a veteran forward, he knows how to put the ball in the back of the net, so I think if we keep doing that, the goals will come and we can start getting some wins.”The combination of these two players with the freshman Segbers and and fellow freshman forward Tom Barlow, Wisconsin created many chances, leading to nine total shots in the second half.“Having Mueller come in and being able to hit him on the opposite side really helped,” Conner said. “He can go at guys, and Brindle is a natural holding forward that you can find his feet and he plays off it really well.”The Badgers had multiple opportunities with the ball stopping in the middle of the box, but they could not find the back of the net. Despite the wealth of shots, Wisconsin only put two shots on target in the entire second half.Wisconsin head coach John Trask thought the lineup late in the game played well even though the Badgers’ offense couldn’t find the back of the net.“It seemed like we were going to get something with what we were doing out there in the second half. Soccer can be a cruel game,” Trask said, adding that although possession is important, scoring is ultimately what matters.The strategy behind the lineup was also solid for Trask, who believed Saturday was not the night for the Badgers to score their equalizing goal.“I thought they did a nice job getting Mueller in on that right side, letting Segbers have some freedom on that left side, and then had the two big guys in front of goal, if we could get some balls served in, and we did,” Trask said. “Sometimes the ball doesn’t rub your way.”One reason for the difficulty in scoring for Wisconsin was Ohio State’s formation and tough defending.The Buckeyes played a 4-5-1, which meant they were able to pack the box to prevent many of Wisconsin’s opportunities.“When you’re relying on a lot of young players, it’s a learning curve for them,” Trask said. “They’re learning some tough, tough lessons.”With a more attacking lineup in the latter part of the game, Segbers thought the Badgers were not quite patient enough to break down the Buckeye defense.“Once we saw our gaps, we tried to go too direct too quick. I think we could have done one more pass to the outside try to isolate someone,” Segbers said. “I think we were trying to jam it up the middle and attacking by the numbers. It just took us a little too long to figure out.”This lineup proved to bring energy and opportunities for the Badgers, which may mean they can turn to a similar lineup in games later this season to wear down opposing defenses and create scoring opportunities.For a team that has had trouble finding goals in the majority of their games, Trask may be onto something by bringing on late energy from the bench on the attacking end.As they continue to play together, the substitutes will get onto the same page as the rest of the offense, which Wisconsin will need if it hopes to break through on the offensive end.last_img

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