Wisconsin menâ€™s soccer came in with some good preseason hype, ranked No. 21 in the nation. However they were picked seventh in a tough Big Ten conference, and after Friday night it could be the latter that was more accurate.
The Badgers opened the season in front of a crowd of 1,117 as part of the PAC the MAC doubleheader with the womenâ€™s team. Unfortunately the crowd walked away disappointed as UW dropped the opener 2-1 against the University of San Francisco.
Wisconsin had trouble generating much in the way of offense most of the game, and dug itself a hole it couldnâ€™t get out of as USF netted the first two goals of the game.
It didnâ€™t take long for the Badgers to have to play from behind, as USF midfielder Davi Ramos followed up his own shot for the season-opening goal in the 14th minute. The Dons kept the pressure up, mounting six shots on goal in the first half alone.
USF wasnâ€™t just impressive in attack, the Dons were impressive on the other end of the spectrum too. Wisconsin mustered just two shots in the entire first half.
The score managed to say 1-0 at the half, but it didnâ€™t take long for USF to double their lead on another unassisted goal. UW committed a foul around itâ€™s own box and Danny Kirkland stepped up and knocked home the free kick in the 47th minute, beatingÂ Adrian Remeniuk high in the net.
Remeniuk isnâ€™t likely to remember his first career start very fondly thanks to that goal, but he did manage four saves overall on the night.
Wisconsin woke up after giving up a second goal to USF, but the pressure was too little, too late. The Badgers put six shots up in the second half and had eight shots on the night.
After sustaining some pressure as the second half ticked down, the Badgers finally broke through in the 82nd minute. Forward Tom Barlow redirected one past USF goalkeeper Chase Hauser, with the assist going to Anders Kristensen.
The pressure didnâ€™t stop in the waining minutes of the match, but it was not to be.
Wisconsin continues its season-opening homestand on Sunday when it faces Xavier at 7 p.m.
*Photo courtesy UW Athletics