first_imgDespite playing in a multitude of overtime games this season, Nick Janus and the rest of UW managed to score their first golden goal.[/media-credit]Despite suffering six tough losses off of game-winning goals in the final minutes of games this season, the Wisconsin men’s soccer team could finally celebrate a thrilling finish of their own Wednesday after defeating University of Illinois Chicago 1-0 in overtime.Freshman midfielder Joey Tennyson rifled a shot past the UIC goalkeeper and into the right corner of the net in the 95th minute to propel the Badgers (3-12-2, 0-4-1 Big Ten) to their second win in three games.“It’s great,” said defensive midfielder Paul Yonga, who had the game-winning assist for UW. “UIC had been in three overtimes their last three games, and they won them all, so to come here and win our first overtime game, it’s amazing. It’s a totally different feeling than it was when we were losing. It’s indescribable how good it feels.”After clutch tackles from defender Luke Goodnetter and forward Danny Ahlering, Yonga recovered possession for UW on the left side of Wisconsin’s attacking third, and got free with a give-and-go with Colin Mani, then played a through ball to the streaking Tennyson for the finish.“Danny Ahlering, the little tackle he makes is what springs this last little attack,” head coach John Trask said. “He lays his body down for the good of the team. Guys are putting their bodies out there; that’s all we can ask.”However, it was freshman goalkeeper Max Jentsch and Wisconsin’s defensive unit that made a goal saving clear on the goal to extend the game.Jentsch diverted a NIU striker on a fast break toward the goal by forcing him wide and diving onto the ball, but the ball squirted free, and it appeared the Flames had a clear shot for the score. However, the reliable defense of Kyle McCrudden and Arnel Zahirovic submerged on the ball and cleared it away from the trouble.“You can’t really ask for anything more,” Tennyson said. “If you make a mistake and your defense can cover for you, it’s good to know that the team is there to back you up.”In the Badgers’ past three games, they have earned two victories and allowed only one goal. The team has not accomplished this feat at any other point this season.Trask highlighted the defense as a strong point for the team and a major reason the team has elevated their game and results in the past three games.“[UIC’s] got three or four pretty special attacking players and I thought we did a pretty good job tonight. Are they of the same quality of some of the guys in the Big Ten? I don’t know, but even Ohio State didn’t create much against us, so we’re getting that edge back instead of playing those 4-3 games, which were very difficult.”While the Badgers played solid defensively, increasing offensive opportunities and urgency to score will be a key factor the team will need to improve upon heading into Senior Night against Penn State Saturday and the Big Ten Tournament next week.“I think we could just move the ball a little bit faster. Sometimes we dwell on the ball and the movement gets a little slow, which helps the defense recover a little bit, so if we move the ball a little bit quicker and get the defense a little tired, then we can find those balls up to Princy who can lay it off to Nick Janus, and then we can move and score through that way.”Trask added this victory was just another small step in the right direction that the team has consistently been able to make all season.“It’s huge,” Trask said. “We keep moving. I told the guys we keep inching this thing forward; we wish we could gain a foot or a yard real quick. This is going to help us with confidence going into Penn State and then obviously the Big Ten Tournament. With Penn State, it’s a whole different test than we had tonight. Congrats to the guys for getting a shut out.”last_img

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