Beginning of new era for Badger men's soccer team - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Beginning of new era for Badger men's soccer team

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 MADISON, WI (WKOW) -- With the start of fall camp Wednesday, the Badger men's soccer team is ushering in a new era in Wisconsin soccer.

The Badgers are ranked 21st in the preseason polls, coming off a season which saw Wisconsin make its first trip to the NCAA tournament in nearly two decades.

Despite an early exit at the hands of eventual national champion Notre Dame, Wisconsin finished the 2013-2014 season ranked 19th and with the nation's longest active home win-streak of 14 games.

"I think this program has come a long way," said junior midfielder and captain Drew Conner. "But obviously we're not totally satisfied with that. Coming in with that rank in preseason great definitely gives us a boost. I think last year no on expected us to be that good, and I still don't think anyone expects us to be good. It's going to be shock and awe.

The Badgers will be without 14 seniors from last season, meaning many of the talented incoming freshmen will have to step up and fill those roles.

"We're going to be learning on the job," said head coach John Trask. "You know, when you bring in a bunch of freshmen, it doesn't matter how talented they are. We play in the Big Ten just like all the other sports, and it's hard to win in the Big Ten with a lot of young guys. But I think we're well on our way to keeping this tradition going."

Wisconsin will play four teams ranked in the preseason polls, including No. 10 Michigan State, No. 15 Penn State, and the newest addition to the Big Ten Conference, second-ranked Maryland.

"Maryland and Indiana have been by far the most consistent programs in the country," said Trask, "And now we have both of them living under our roof in the Big Ten. While exciting, I mean, we're going to play a game at Maryland, there will probably be 5,500 to 6,000 people there, it also brings new challenges."

"The whole schedule top to bottom is awesome," added Conner, "And I wouldn't have it any other way. You wouldn't want to play mediocre teams all year. To play the best of the best, Notre Dame in preseason, Creighton,a rival like Marquette, it's going to be awesome."


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