Diaz, Lorenz lead UW to victory

first_imgIt only took two-and-a-half minutes of brilliance for the Wisconsin men’s soccer team (9-4-2, 3-1-1 Big Ten) to score a pair of second-half goals in its 2-0 defeat over Penn State (4-8-2, 2-2-0) Sunday. With a goal by freshman Scott Lorenz in the 61st minute and a second strike by sophomore Victor Diaz in the 63rd, the Badgers moved one conference victory closer to claiming the 2006 Big Ten title.After the match, Wisconsin head coach Jeff Rohrman attributed the win to hard work, good ball movement and strong field vision.”When we’re moving the ball and moving off of the ball and seeing things quickly and playing quickly — there are a lot of good things that can happen with our team,” Rohrman said. “I thought [Sunday] we did a good job of that. I think it was obviously a tremendous win, and I was really pleased with the effort and the performance today.”After a scoreless first half, the Nittany Lions produced some dangerous opportunities in the first 15 minutes of the second half — including a chance from six yards out that was bounced off the crossbar. However, it was the Badgers who got on the scoreboard first, following some tactical passing that would make the Dutch national team jealous.In the 61st minute, sophomore Zack Lambo sent a through ball in the direction of Diaz near the center of the field. Rather than play the ball, Diaz ducked and allowed the ball to go through — right into the run of freshman Andy Miller. Miller carried the ball into the 18-yard-box and surgically split a pair of Penn State defenders with a pinpoint pass to a wide-open Lorenz. With the ball near the penalty spot, Lorenz took a touch and then slotted it into the lower right corner of the net to give Wisconsin the all-important lead.In his first career start as a Badger, Lorenz definitely made his match memorable with the game-winning goal in such a crucial conference showdown. After the match, Lorenz expressed his excitement with the opportunity and his overall performance.”[Coach] told me yesterday that I would be starting, so I was pretty excited all of yesterday and then this morning,” Lorenz said. “I just wanted to come out and play my game — not really do anything different, just try not to do too much. Luckily, I got a gift-wrapped goal. I had plenty of time and was able to take a touch on it. … It just felt really good to get [that goal].”Just two minutes after Lorenz’s memorable strike, Diaz continued his cheeky play with a goal of his own. After receiving a pass from senior defender Aaron Hohlbein, Diaz juked his way past three defenders before slipping it past a desperate Nittany Lion goalkeeper. Although the keeper got a hand on the shot, it wasn’t enough to stop it from rolling into the back of the net for Diaz’s team-leading fourth goal of the season.In the defensive third, for the sixth time in the past seven matches, the Badger defense produced yet another shutout. Rohrman praised senior goalkeeper Jake Settle and his back line for the accomplishment. “I thought [the defense] was very good,” Rohrman said. “Positionally, we were smart. We were in the right places at the right times, and we were very alert and aware of where we needed to be. We also had a good understanding of when to play out and when not to play out. I thought the coordination between Jake [Settle] and our backs was very good in terms of dealing with some of the longer balls that [Penn State] was playing.”After Sunday’s important victory, the Badgers are now only one conference victory away from bagging the 2006 Big Ten hardware. The only team standing in their way is No. 9 Indiana (10-3-2, 3-0-1). Although Wisconsin must first handle Northern Illinois and UW-Green Bay before traveling to the Hoosier State, Rohrman and his club certainly have the Big Ten title on their minds. “We’re going to Indiana with a chance to win it,” Rohrman announced emphatically. “We posed that to our boys before the [Penn State] game, and certainly they responded.”last_img

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