Men's Soccer

Men's Soccer Drops Close One In Season Opener

Miles Robinson
Miles Robinson

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Santa Clara men's soccer fell to Wisconsin in the opening match of the 2016 season. The Badgers won, 1-0, in the game at McClimon Soccer Complex in Madison, Wisc. The Broncos were relentless in the attack but could not break through the Badger defense to tie the game.

"I think we all know playing on the road is a great challenge," head coach Cameron Rast said. "I think we prepared for that with our San Diego State game in the preseason. When we decided to go to Wisconsin we knew they would be tough and work hard, which they did. They made it very difficult for us to break them down. I thought we created some very good moments and chances but I don't think we executed and took them as well as we should have."

In the first half there was a lot of up and down play with both teams dominating possession for spells at a time but neither team took control of the match. The Broncos took five shots in the half and looked to catch the Badger goalkeeper out of position and off his line a few times but missed the target on each occasion. SCU also won two corner kicks and committed five fouls including a yellow card for sophomore defender Brandon Gillingham in the fifth minute.

The Badgers registered four shots, two of which were on target but saved with ease from sophomore goalkeeper Dakota Havlick. Havlick also did well in coming off his line to punch incoming crosses out of danger and intercept long through balls from the Badgers.

In the 50th minute, junior Carlos Delgadillo had a shot from just outside the 18-yard box that drilled the post, which ultimately was the best chance of the game for the Broncos. Wisconsin ended up striking first in the second half with a goal at the 54:08 mark from Tom Barlow. Christopher Mueller got behind the defense then played a through ball to Barlow to the far post who gathered and then fired a shot from close range into the top netting.

The Broncos responded well after allowing the goal, pressuring the Badgers and continuously attacking but they just could not get a clean shot or the final touch needed to tie the game. After a foul on Wisconsin in the 72nd minute and a yellow card for Noah Leibold, SCU lined up for the set piece and tried a drawn up play but were unsuccessful. In the 80th minute, freshman Miles Robinson made a move past his man on the left wing and was brought down in the 18-yard box but no foul was given.

"I think we're disappointed because we felt we did enough to get a better result," Rast said. "Whether a tie or a win, we thought we created enough chances. But, we made a mistake and it cost us. We both had good moments and I think on the road that's all you want is a good game where you create chances and go back and forth."

In total, SCU fired 10 shots and two were on target while also winning four corner kicks.  Havlick recorded three saves while the Broncos committed 12 fouls in total. Wisconsin took seven shots and four were on target. The Badgers won five corner kicks and committed six fouls.

"I challenged them after the game," Rast said. "I told the guys that these are the games we have to find a way to win. We are good enough to win and we have to execute better. So I told them they need to be better on Monday and I think they will be, they'll respond."

Next up for the Broncos is the Northwestern Wildcats on Monday at 4 p.m. PT in Evanston, Ill. That game can also be seen on the Big Ten Network.

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