Wisconsin Men's Soccer Headed to Big Ten Championship - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Wisconsin Men's Soccer Headed to Big Ten Championship

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Beating a perennial powerhouse in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten tournament wasn't enough for the Wisconsin men's soccer team. The Badgers took down No. 1-seed Michigan, 4-0, in the Big Ten semifinals at Grand Park to clinch their second-consecutive win over a top-25 RPI team and secure a spot in the tournament championship for the second year in a row.

The hero of the quarterfinal match against Maryland, senior Mark Segbers, was none the lesser in the match on Friday afternoon. The All-Big Ten second team selection blew the lid off the Wolverine net with an unassisted goal in the 28th minute of play.

The single goal and solid possession stood to show for Wisconsin (10-4-4 overall) at the end of the first half. But the best was still yet to come.

Wisconsin buried Michigan in the final 20 minutes of play, thanks in large part to the play exhibited by senior forwards Tom Barlow and Chris Mueller. Mueller was the first to strike off a golden ball from senior Alex Masbruch that led Mueller right to Michigan's doorstep. The Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year didn't need much instruction after that, swiftly beating the defenders and keeper in one smooth motion. It was Mueller's ninth goal of the year.

Barlow completed the 1-2 punch with a goal of his own that proved to be the dagger. It wasn't without the help of Mueller, who pick-pocketed the Michigan goal kick and sent a roller to the feet of Barlow with a one-on-one opportunity to beat the keeper. Barlow gathered and deposited the ball into the back of the Wolverine net for his eighth score of the season. It was Mueller's 15th assist of the year.

And as if the Badger's 3-0 lead wasn't enough, freshman Alex Alfaro found a way to get his name in the box with his first goal of the season that came with a single second left on the scoreboard. 

The Wolverines outshot the Badgers 20-11, attesting to the outstanding play from senior captain Philipp Schilling in the net. Highlighting his performance was an incredible save on a Michigan breakaway that kept the game in Wisconsin's favor. Schilling made seven saves on the way to his fifth shutout of the season.

Wisconsin will play in the Big Ten Championship game on Sunday at 11 a.m. (CT) against No. 2 Indiana.

--Wisconsin Athletic Communications

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