Nov. 8, 2007
Listen to Coach Lenahan's post game comments (Courtesy of Michigan State)
EAST LANSING, Mich. -
If Reggie Jackson is Mr. October, then consider David Roth Mr. November. The Northwestern senior continued his history of strong postseason play as he scored a pair of goals Thursday morning to help the Wildcats defeat Wisconsin 3-1 in an opening round game at the 2007 Big Ten Men's Soccer Tournament.
With the win, third-seeded NU (12-3-3) advances to take on No. 2 seed Ohio State in the semifinal round at 10 a.m. Central time Friday. The Buckeyes posted a 1-0 win over seventh-seeded Michigan Thursday.
"It's always great to get the first win the Big Ten tournament," Northwestern head coach Tim Lenahan said.
"I thought David Roth really stepped up today. He was injured in the first half right after he scored the goal and his being able to play gave us a great lift."
Despite a 9 a.m. local time start, the early wake-up call had little effect on Northwestern. It took Roth just 62 seconds into the contest to put the Wildcats on the scoreboard. Following a corner kick, Roth fired a shot from 20 yards out past Wisconsin keeper Alex Horwath.
The Badgers would get the equalizer at 31:19 as Andy Miller tallied his first goal of the season with some help as his shot from the top of the box deflected off a Northwestern defender and went in to tie the game.
Both teams collected seven shots in the opening half of play, though Wisconsin had a 6-1 edge in corner kicks.
The match remained tied until just over six minutes into the second half when Roth notched his second goal of the match from the left wing. Mark Blades and Matt Eliason were credited with assists on the score.
Blades would give NU the all-important two-goal advantage 14 minutes later as he headed home a rebound to put the 'Cats ahead 3-1. Piero Bellizzi earned his team-leading eighth assist of the season on the play.
The edge would be more than enough for Justin Pines who made seven saves to earn his third win of the season. The Badgers would finish with a slight 17-16 advantage in shots and 10 corners to four for Northwestern.
"I thought we played pretty well in the second half to get the two goals and put it away," said Lenahan.
"Right now it's a matter of surviving and advancing."
Both of Friday's semifinal round games will be televised live by the Big Ten Network. Northwestern posted a 4-0 win at then-No. 19 Ohio State Sept. 23 in the Big Ten opener for both squads.