Soccer loses heartbreaker

first_imgWestern Illinois’ Cosimo Patano chose the right time to score his first goal of the season. Patano’s volley in the 48th minute proved to be the game-winner, as the Leathernecks defeated the Badgers 1-0 at McClimon Complex Wednesday night.In a non-conference battle of teams mired in three-game winless streaks, Western Illinois (7-2-1) made its one shot on goal count, while Wisconsin (4-3-2) went 0-for-2 on its shots. Head coach Jeff Rohrman cites that inefficiency as a reason for the loss.“To come away with 18 shots and only really put two on goal — our guys are better than that,” Rohrman said.Even the Badgers’ two shots on goal were weak at best, while Patano’s was a highlight reel-worthy rip into the back of the net. Capitalizing on a UW failure to clear the ball out of the defensive zone, Patano trapped the ball with his chest and released a volley from 30 yards out that goalkeeper Alex Horwath couldn’t handle.“Honestly, I didn’t see it until it was at the six (yard box),” Horwath said of the shot. “The kid hit a rip. He couldn’t have hit it any better.”Seemingly awakened by the goal, the Badgers went on to dominate the better part of the second half, in part because the Leathernecks were content to sit on their lead. Unfortunately, UW’s increased effort was not enough to find the back of the net.“It wasn’t really until their guy hit an unbelievable shot and our backs were against the wall that we picked up the tempo,” Rohrman said. “I thought the last 30 minutes of the game we clearly dominated and just couldn’t get the goal.”That’s not to say the opportunities weren’t there. UW had free kicks from five and 10 yards outside the 18-yard box but were unable to convert and instances of two and three corner kicks in a row that provided no goals. Although they dominated possession of the ball, the Badgers found it difficult to find any room to make runs or get off shots once they got into the Leathernecks’ defensive zone.“I don’t think we executed there as well tonight,” Rohrman said. “But I give them credit. They’re a very well-coached team; they’re very organized. They stay compact; they make it a little difficult. Having said that, I thought that later in the game we did some pretty good things, but couldn’t reward ourselves.”The Badgers’ best chance came in the 65th minute when Bryan Gerster’s header went off the far post and was recovered on the rebound by Western Illinois keeper Stephen Paterson. After another UW header went off the top of the crossbar and over, it seemed futility would be the theme of the night.“It’s absolutely frustrating,” Horwath said. “We haven’t been putting balls away.”After a scoreless first half, it seemed the Badgers were destined for another source of frustration: their inability to decide games in regulation. Five of UW’s eight games have gone into overtime, though Patano’s goal made sure the match ended on time.With UW’s winless streak reaching four games, the Badgers find themselves in a less-than-ideal position with nine games to play.“Our backs are against the wall. We have no choice but to win,” Horwath said.Rohrman acknowledged his team’s morale.“They’re obviously frustrated and a bit disappointed. We’re going to continue to work on it and we know we have a big opportunity and challenge at Michigan State this weekend,” Rohrman said. “Obviously we felt we kind of needed a victory after what’s happened the last couple of weeks, with some disappointing ties and losses. But we’ll rebound.”last_img read more