Oct. 23, 2010
Site: Madison, Wis. (McClimon Soccer Complex)
Score: Northwestern 4, Wisconsin 3 (OT)
Records: NU (8-5-2, 2-1-1 Big Ten), Wisconsin (1-11-2, 0-3-1 Big Ten)
Next NU Event: Sunday, Oct. 31 -- at Indiana, 4 p.m. CT
MADISON, Wis. -
Senior Jack Hillgard's goal from approximately 70 yards out four minutes and 10 seconds into the first extra session gave the Northwestern men's soccer team a wild 4-3 overtime victory over Wisconsin at the McClimon Soccer Complex Saturday evening. Matt Eliason tied the match on a penalty kick goal with 1:14 remaining in regulation.
"It's one of the craziest games that I've ever been a part of," Northwestern head coach Tim Lenahan said. "Our seniors knew that their backs were up against the wall and that their postseason hopes were probably over if we didn't win the game."
The victory helped keep the Wildcats' NCAA tournament hopes alive as they improved to 5-1-2 in their last eight contests.
Meanwhile, the Badgers' long season continued as they dropped their fifth overtime game this season and remained winless since posting a victory in their season-opener on Sept. 4.
Northwestern appeared headed for the victory in regulation as it held a 2-1 lead with seven minutes remaining. However, the match took a dramatic turn. Chris Prince's second goal of the night tied things up at 83:09.
Less than two minutes later, the freshman completed a hat trick to give the host's a 3-2 advantage with just over five minutes left. NU refused to go away, though. The Wildcats put the pressure on and earned a foul in the box in the waning moments.
Eliason took the ensuing PK and coolly deposited it past Wisconsin keeper Max Jentsch with just 74 seconds left on the clock.
The Badgers earned a corner kick early in the first overtime, but Northwestern was able to clear the ball from harm. Hillgard then took things into his own hands as he launched the ball down the field and it bounced at the top of the 18-yard box and over Jentsch and into the goal to send the Wildcats home a winner.
The victory avenged a 2-1 overtime win by Wisconsin in Evanston a year ago when the Badgers got the game-winner on a penalty kick.
"It's one of those things that happens to every goalkeeper at some point in time during his career," Lenahan said. "Wisconsin played very well. Luck just hasn't been on their side this season. I guess the soccer gods were looking down on us tonight."
UW got the first goal of the match on Prince's first of three on the night on an unassisted tally at 15:43. Lepe Seetane got the equalizer eight minutes later when he scored unassisted for his second goal of the year.
The match remained tied until five minutes into the second half when Oliver Kupe took a feed from Seetane and notched his team-leading seventh tally of the season. For a while, it appeared as though the goal may be Kupe's fifth game-winner of the season before things got entertaining late in the contest.
A total of three Wildcats played in goal. Drew Kotler working the first half and Tommy Tombridge playing the second stanza with each player being forced to leave the game due to injury. Jonathan Harris picked up his first collegiate win for playing in the overtime period.
Northwestern held a 7-2 edge in corner kicks, while Wisconsin had a 14-12 advantage in shots.
It was a milestone victory for Lenahan as it was his 100th during his time at Northwestern.
"I joked that after my first year here that I thought it might take 100 years to win 100 games," Lenahan said. "It's really a tribute to all of the guys who have played here over the last 10 years. They've bought into it to make that possible."
NU returns to action at 4 p.m. CT Sunday, Oct. 31 as it travels to Indiana. The match is being televised live by Big Ten Network.
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