01 Sep Broncos Travel to Madison for Showdown with Badgers
MADISON, Wisc. — For the third straight time the Western Michigan men’s soccer team heads on the road, this time to Madison, Wisc., to take on the Wisconsin Badgers on Thursday night.
WHERE TO WATCH
The showdown against the Badgers can be streamed online via BTN+ with kickoff scheduled for 8 p.m.
SCOUTING THE BADGERS
Wisconsin offers some more out-of-conference adversity to the Broncos as both teams look to bounce back from losses in their previous games.
The Badgers return three players on the Big Ten Players to Watch List in senior Moritz Kappelsberger, senior Andrew Akindele, and sophomore Tim Bielic. Wisconsin also brings a veteran presence that includes all five goal scorers and six players with assists from the previous season.
Additionally, Akindele returns to the Badgers after leading the team in goals during the 2020-21 season where he recorded three goals in seven games.
The Badgers come into Thursday’s contest following a 1-1 tie with Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville coming last Thursday, and a 2-1 loss to Green Bay on Sunday.
The Broncos, who were picked fourth in the MAC Coaches Preseason Poll, are looking for their first victory of the 2021 campaign against the Badgers following a 2-1 road loss to the University of Virginia last Thursday, and a 4-2 road loss to Loyola-Chicago this past Sunday.
Head coach Chad Wiseman looks forward to challenging himself and his players with the schedule they have created this year.
“At the end of the day, Mid-American Conference men’s soccer in general is at its best that is has probably ever been, and we want to continue to try to help maintain that level here at Western Michigan. In order to do that, we need to go out and schedule the very toughest games that we can, and I think our schedule speaks volumes for that,” Wiseman said.
The players and coaches remain confident in themselves and welcome the challenge that a Big Ten opponent offers at this early stage of the 2021 season as they set their sights on a run at a MAC Championship, as well as an NCAA Tournament berth.
Wiseman also alluded to the team’s feelings of being short changed in recent years when it came to at-large bids to the NCAA tournament.
“We at Western Michigan felt like we’ve done wrong the last couple years. In 2019, we had some unbelievable results and they left us out. Then last year during the COVID year, [the NCAA] went with more traditional powerhouses, although the resumes might not have spoken as well as ours, and we were left out,” Wiseman said in regards to previous NCAA tournament bids.
Western Michigan finally returns to Kalamazoo for its home-opener on Monday at 3 p.m. against Butler. Beginning at 12:30 p.m. Bronco Soccer fans can take part in WMU’s annual Bronco Soccer Fest.
The pregame tailgate takes place on WMU’s practice field, where there will be outdoor games, face painting and tattoos, music, the WMU Cheer & Dance teams, an all-you can eat buffet, alcoholic beverages and a meet and greet with both the Western Michigan men’s and women’s soccer teams.
For more information, please visit www.wmuevents.com.
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