Badgers to take on in-state rival Phoenix

first_imgLuke Goodnetter and the Badgers will try to break an 11-game winless streak as in-state rival UW-Green Bay visits Madison.[/media-credit]The Wisconsin men’s soccer team will take on UW-Green Bay at home Wednesday in a game that head coach John Trask considers the ideal matchup at this point in the season.The 1-9-2 Badgers have not won in 11 games and are coming off a disheartening 3-0 loss to No. 16 Michigan State. Additionally, UW has not achieved its desired results in mid-week, non-conference games this season, defeating just one opponent in nine games.However, Trask says Wednesday’s match will be a great chance for Wisconsin to recover from this drought.“Green Bay is absolutely the perfect team to play because of the type of players that they have,” Trask said. “Not only are they good, they have an All-American frontrunner. They are feisty, they are physical and they come to compete. You have to be ready for that, and that is what we need tomorrow; we need a test.”The Badgers will have to keep a close eye on senior Phoenix midfielder JC Banks, who has already equaled UW’s entire team scoring output this season with eight goals. Banks has also recorded five assists, accounting for 21 total points on the season.“JC is a tremendously talented player,” Trask said. “He’s not just clever and mature in terms of his soccer mind and touch on the ball, he’s a very dynamic athlete. He’s the type of player that can take over a game from beginning to end. Whether he comes out of midfield or up front, he’s going to be an absolute handful for us, and he is for anyone he plays. He’s an exceptional talent in the college game, and he has really matured.”To address Banks’ impressive offensive capabilities, sophomore center defender Kyle McCrudden said physicality would be key. McCrudden said that while he is incredibly fast and athletic, at just 5-foot-8 and 145 pounds, Banks is not very big.McCrudden believes that pushing Banks around a little bit could get him to back off and become less aggressive. Organization on defense in the team’s new 4-4-2 formation will also be critical, according to McCrudden.Freshman defender Luke Goodnetter says facing Banks will be no different form facing Indiana’s Will Bruin, Creighton’s Ethan Finlay or any of the other dynamic offensive threats the team has had to deal with this season. Sticking to the game plan, giving Banks space and learning more about his style of play through game film will all help UW contain the Phoenix midfielder.Goodnetter believes aggressive play and a strong desire to take advantage of scoring opportunities will yield success for the UW attacking unit.“To be honest, I think we just need to be a little more feisty up top,” Goodnetter said. “Really, we just have to start putting our body into [opposing players]. We’ve got to get goals more. We just have to want it more, that’s what is comes down to.”Over the course of the season, Wisconsin has played well at times, but has also fallen victim to mistakes that have prevented the team from achieving the results UW players and coaches know they are capable of.“We’ve had a lot of inconsistent play,” Trask said. “It comes down to a lot of little things that I find when you don’t have a boatload of experience on the field, it’s hard to cover for all these little mistakes that are being made.”Despite the numerous inexperienced players on the field for UW during almost every game, Trask believes the young defense has matured and meshed together sufficiently for the coaches to make a necessary formation change.Instead of the team’s typical 5-4-1 formation, Wisconsin will adopt a more attacking 4-4-2 formation Wednesday in hopes of gaining more scoring opportunities. Trask has yet to determine who will play alongside Chris Prince at forward against Green Bay.Additionally, after giving up five goals in just one game and a half, Trask has decided midway through the MSU game to relinquish senior tri-captain Ryan Vint of his starting goalkeeper role, and will instead start freshman Max Jentsch in goal.“Ryan has been told this was not just giving Jentsch some experience,” Trask said. “At this point, Jentsch is the starting goalkeeper, now he has to earn the right to stay in goal. As I said to Ryan, I hope for Max Jentsch – as I hope for any player when given the opportunity – that they perform heroically and never look back.”“That’s my hope with every player I put on the field game in and game out starting,” Trask continued. “That’s all you can hope for as a coach. You wouldn’t put the player out there if you didn’t think he was the best at the time for the job, and that’s what we think Max is right this second.”last_img read more