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Men’s soccer: Two missed penalty kicks cost Badgers in loss to Phoenix

first_imgNeedless to say, the Wisconsin men’s soccer team (2-7-0) did not have a good three-game home stretch, ending it with a gut-wrenching 3-2 loss to Green Bay (2-5-2) on Wednesday night at McClimon Complex.Even though the Badgers finally scored a goal at home this season, the team missed two key penalty kicks that eventually cost them the match.Excluding the penalty kicks, the game ultimately came down to a tale of two halves. The Badgers came out firing in the first. Drew Conner knotted his second goal on the season in the 13th minute off an assist from Luc Kazmierczak (Kazmierczak’s first point and start of the year).Six minutes later, the Badgers grew their lead with a smooth touch from Mark Segbers off a double assist from Tom Barlow and Conner. Wisconsin kept their foot on the pedal for the rest of the half, but couldn’t keep Green Bay’s talented mid-fielder Audi Jepson from putting one in the net late in the period.In a quick turn around, the Green Bay defense was caught sleeping and tripped Conner in the box, giving Wisconsin a penalty kick with only a minute left in the half. Conner failed to take advantage of the opportunity and Green Bay salvaged a 2-1 deficit at the half.The second half took a turn for the worse for the home team. Only three minutes in, Green Bay’s William Nordenstrom scored a beautiful goal low on Wisconsin goalkeeper Adrian Remeniuk and tied it up 2-2. Cheenuj Shong’s goal in the 55th minute secured the comeback for Green Bay and seemed to take the life out of the depleted Badgers. Green Bay controlled much of the half and looked to be playing with more energy and focus. Wisconsin looked out-of-sync and much less motivated to go out and win.Despite everything, Wisconsin’s Christopher Mueller was tackled in the box with little less than 10 minutes to go and lined up for a second penalty kick with the hopes of escaping with a tie. Mueller sent the shot wide left and Wisconsin couldn’t rally following another missed opportunity.“We have to be able to put away games like this,” Wisconsin head coach John Trask said. “Hats off to Green Bay but we need guys to step up going forward.”There were a few bright spots for the Badgers. Isaac Schlenker came off the bench in the first half and provided some much needed energy to take a 2-0 lead. Trask said he believes Schlenker played and looked like the team’s best forward at this point. Solid performances from Kazmierczak and Nick Jones also stood out in the otherwise difficult game for a team that is looking for answers.“We don’t seem resolute for 90 minutes,” Trask said. “We had plenty of chances to make it 3-1 and we didn’t finish those chances; that’s a soccer game. We have half a season left and we have to be better in games like this.”The Badgers now travel to Ann Arbor for a Big Ten matchup against Michigan Sunday.last_img read more