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

Africa Cup of Nations winners and losers

first_imgA chaotic start induced by a shortage of funds forced the squad to make a 24-hour bus journey to Malawi, but they won 2-1 to set in motion a five-match unbeaten run that secured top spot while favourites Guinea flopped. WINNERSGuinea-BissauHave no stars and coach Baciro Cande is virtually unknown, but home and away wins over Kenya and a 3-2 triumph over Zambia in Bissau thanks to a stoppage-time Toni Silva goal secured top spot with a fixture to spare.UgandaAfter a string of near misses in qualifying competitions, Uganda are going to the finals for the first time since 1978 with a narrow home win over the Comoros securing one of two places reserved for the best runners-up.SenegalThe only qualifiers to finish with a 100 percent record, after home and away victories over Burundi, Namibia and Niger, is testimony to the organisation and consistency coach and former star Aliou Cisse has developed.EgyptA stoppage-time equaliser from Mohamed Salah in Nigeria against the run of play proved crucial as record seven-time champions Egypt won the return match in the ‘group of death’ to halt a run of three failed qualifying campaigns.Zimbabwe Ugandans celebrate qualification. FUFAMEDIA PHOTOJohannesburg, South Africa | AFP |Guinea-Bissau winning a group in which they were expected to finish last was the biggest shock of the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying competition that ended at the weekend.The tiny Portuguese-speaking west African country reached the finals for the first time at the expense of former champions Zambia and Congo Brazzaville and Kenya.They will be at the 16-team tournament in Gabon during January and February while notable absentees include previous title-holders Nigeria and South Africa.AFP Sport picks five winners and five losers after an elimination process that spanned 16 months and produced 363 goals at an average of 2.5 per match. LOSERSNigeriaThe withdrawal of cash-strapped Chad turned the matches against Egypt into group deciders and after being held at home in a match they dominated, the Super Eagles fell to a Ramadan Sobhy goal in Alexandria and were eliminated.South AfricaInstead of contesting first place with eventual group winners Cameroon, Bafana Bafana (The Boys) never recovered from a disastrous start in which they were held by Gambia and lost to Mauritania and finished a humiliating third.ZambiaA downward turn by Chipolopolo (Copper Bullets) since shocking Ivory Coast to win the 2012 final continued after drawing three and losing one of four qualifiers this year to end third in a group won by no-hopers Guinea-Bissau.Cape VerdeA team ranked No. 1 in Africa for one month this year needed a home victory over modest Libya to seal a third consecutive Cup of Nations appearance, but lost to a stoppage-time goal in a game interrupted by a dog wandering around the pitch.Congo BrazzavilleThe central African country have been unable to sustain progress after reaching the 2015 quarter-finals despite defeating group winners Guinea-Bissau home and away. A shock loss in Kenya proved fatal. Share on: WhatsApplast_img read more