On Friday night, the Rutgers men's soccer team defeated Wisconsin 5-4 on penalty kicks after a scoreless 90 minutes and extra time. The Scarlet Knights (8-4-6, 4-2-2) will now take on Ohio State in the Big Ten Tournament semifinals.
Rutgers controlled much of the first period of the match. The Knights took five shots and forced Carter Abbott to make saves. Rutgers came closest to scoring when graduate student midfielder Pablo Avila’s shot on the left side of the box rattled off the post and out for a goal kick. The Badgers (6-6-4, 3-4-1) took four shots in the half but could not put any on target.
The second period started with Wisconsin on the front foot. In the 51st minute, a shot from the Badgers was cleared off the line by senior defender Hugo Le Guennec, and freshman goalkeeper Ciaran Dalton corralled the ball in his arms to keep it scoreless.
In the 78th minute, a shot from outside the box by Ignasi Marques forced Dalton into action again. Dalton was able to dive to his left and parry the ball away to keep the score tied. The Knights controlled the final 10 minutes of regulation but could not get a goal.
In 90 minutes, Rutgers took 12 shots with four on target. Wisconsin took eight shots with one on target. Regulation was chippy as both teams committed 10 fouls.
Nobody could break the deadlock in the first period of overtime. Both teams were hesitant to attack and only took one shot each. The second period mirrored the first, with both teams not committing many men forward.
A penalty kick shootout was needed to decide the outcome of the quarterfinals match. The Knights took the advantage in the second round when Dalton was able to save Tim Bielic’s penalty kick.
In round five of the shootout, senior midfielder Jackson Temple stepped up to the spot with a chance to win the game. Temple calmly slotted the ball into the bottom right corner to win the game for Rutgers. The win marks the first time the program will advance to the Big Ten semifinals in seven years.
“(Shooting is) something that we work on — it’s something that I take time to work on, so I just trusted myself,” Temple said. “I was grateful that it went in.”
The Knights will look to make the Big Ten Tournament finals for the first time in school history when they host the Buckeyes (10-2-5, 4-2-2) on Wednesday. Kickoff is scheduled for 6 p.m. and will be broadcasted on the Big Ten Network.
“I think we can beat anyone, and we’re confident going into any game,” Temple said. “Every game in the tournament is going to be tough, so we are going to prepare these next couple days, and we’ll be ready.”
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