Oct. 5, 2007
Northwestern Game Notes vs. Wisconsin (PDF)
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EVANSTON, Ill. -
No. 7 Northwestern will try to get back on the winning track Saturday as it hosts Wisconsin in men's soccer action at Lakeside Field. Kickoff is set for 3 p.m. with the contest being televised live by the Big Ten Network.
Please note that the day of the game is different than what was listed on the men's soccer schedule card.
The Wildcats will try to get back in the win column after suffering their first loss of the season by a 2-1 score at Penn State last Saturday. The new Lakeside Field will be fully functional for the first time, including access to the new bleachers for fans.
Saturday's contest is the men's soccer program's Chipotle BIG Game with the first 50 students in attendance receiving a coupon for a free Chipotle burrito. In addition, one student will win quarter's supply of Chipotle burrito coupons. Also, the first 100 youth soccer players in the eighth grade or under will receive a free Wildcat soccer scarf.
Wisconsin leads, 21-4-4. The teams have played one another each year since Northwestern began competing in 1980. The Badgers posted a 16-0-3 record in the first 19 meetings between 1980-97. The UW advantage is just 5-4-1 since 1998.
Last meeting: The Badgers defeated Northwestern 2-0 Oct. 1, 2006 in Madison. Reid Johnson and Pablo Delgado scored second-half goals for Wisconsin.
The Badgers (5-3-2, 0-1-1 Big Ten) raced out to a 4-1-0 start to their season but have just one win in their last five matches. Most recently, Michigan State handed Wisconsin a 3-0 loss in Madison Sunday. Brian Bultman paces the Badgers with four goals and eight points this season. Alex Horwath has played nine of the team's 10 matches in goal and sports an impressive 0.85 goals-against average. He already has a Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week honor to his credit this season. Wisconsin was picked to finish fifth in the Big Ten preseason poll.
Penn State Hands Northwestern First Loss
Northwestern had allowed just two goals in its first eight matches of the season, but Penn State matched that total itself Saturday evening as the Nittany Lions handed the third-ranked Wildcats their first loss of the season, 2-1 at Jeffrey Field. Penn State got on the board first with just under six minutes remaining in the opening half on a goal by Grady Renfrow. The Wildcats came out the aggressors in the second half and notched the tying goal courtesy of Tyler Voigt at 57:43. However, the Nittany Lions got the winning score from Vincent Salvatico eight minutes later and NU was unable to rally back. Penn State finished with a 17-11 advantage in shots, though the Wildcats had eight shots on goal compared to six for the Nittany Lions. PSU had 21 fouls to just six for Northwestern.
Getting Off on the Right Foot
The Wildcats enter Saturday's match with a 7-1-1 mark, the team's best record through the first nine matches of the season in school history. Northwestern didn't pick up its first loss until its ninth match. In each of its previous 27 seasons of varsity play, NU had suffered at least one loss by its fourth match of the season. The Wildcats' previous best record through nine matches came just a year ago when Northwestern started 7-2-0.
You'll Get Nothing and Like It!
This year's Northwestern team accomplished something that no other Wildcat team has ever done and that is post five consecutive shutouts. The 1981, 1985 and 1988 teams each recorded four straight shutouts to set the previous record. Goalkeeper Misha Rosenthal's total of six shutouts already this season is one shy of the school record of seven set by J.D. Martin in 2002. NU and Rosenthal saw their streak of holding their opponents scoreless end at an impressive 536 minutes and 25 seconds against Penn State last Saturday.
Wildcats Fall Slightly in National Rankings
Last week's loss at Penn State caused Northwestern to take a slight drop in each of the national polls. The Wildcats went from No. 3 to No. 7 in the NSCAA top 25, but remained ranked second in the Great Lakes Region behind only Notre Dame. Northwestern dropped just two spots in the College Soccer News poll, dipping to No. 5 after being ranked third the previous week. NU was fifth a week ago in the Soccer Times poll but is No. 8 this week.