Men’s soccer on the rise

first_imgSophomore Joey Tennyson leads the Badgers with three goals off of seven shots-on-goal through only five of the team’s seven games so far this season. Tennyson had only three goals last season, second to fellow sophomore Chris Prince who had seven goals.[/media-credit]After a disappointing finish in 2010, head coach John Trask and the Wisconsin men’s soccer team set out to improve early this season.Following last year’s 4-13-3 finish, Trask and his young team are already noticing improvements. Coming off of an unbeaten weekend at Flames Field in Chicago, the Badgers now boast a 3-3-1 record through their first seven games of the season.“We’re improving, and I’m pretty pleased with where we’re at,” Trask said of his young team. “[But] have we really arrived? No. We’re a team coming off a four-win season. We’ve got to find a way to get some positive results, and hopefully we can push this thing forward.”Last year’s team, which lost to eventual national semifinalist Michigan in the Big Ten tournament, was Trask’s first at UW. After winning two Horizon League regular season titles, the 2007 Horizon League Tournament and two Horizon League Coach of the Year titles with Illinois at Chicago, Trask came to Madison with a new attitude and a notoriously ferocious defense.This year, sophomore goalkeepers Ciro Martinez and Max Jentsch have held opponents to one goal or fewer in four games, in which the Badgers are 3-0-1. The Badgers’ solid defense, at times coupled with stellar goalkeeping and steady offense, has propelled them to the best start they have had in the last few years. After closing last year 3-2-1, all signs point to success in the near future for Trask’s young team.Sophomore forward Chris Prince led the team in scoring with seven goals and 14 points last year and netted his second goal of this season Sunday against Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. Sophomore midfielder Joey Tennyson has three goals on the year, including one last weekend, and sophomore midfielders Nick Janus and Trevor Wheeler each have one, meaning the sophomore class has accounted for seven of the team’s 11 goals thus far.“Even though we’re a young team, we had seven freshmen starting last year, so they got a good 15 games under their belt,” Prince said.“Most of our young players did get a lot of experience last year, so that’s going to help us out a lot,” Tennyson added.The three Badger losses this season have come from Virginia, California-Irvine and Memphis – all schools that received votes to be ranked in the most recent NCAA coaches’ poll. The Badgers had chances to win all three of the games, but silly mistakes led to missed opportunities. Tennyson, who currently leads the team in goals, said he feels that consistently eliminating mistakes like the ones already committed would take the team to the level at which they want to perform.Evidence of the Badgers’ work was shown last weekend, when scoring three unanswered goals to start the game against previously 4-1-1 Drake University proved to be enough to win 3-1 Friday. During the second game of the weekend doubleheader, the Badgers tied a scrappy SIU Edwardsville team, 1-1. The game was scoreless until the 83rd minute, when Prince put the Badgers on top for two minutes before the Cougars’ Derek Huffman scored the equalizer three minutes later.By completing a weekend doubleheader without a loss, the Badgers showed improvement from the previous two weekends, during which they compiled a 1-3 record.The Badgers now move on to a four game homestand on Sunday, beginning with Loyola Marymount, a team with a 2-4-0 record out of the West Cost Conference. The Lions lost a close game to University of California Los Angeles earlier this season, having to play 77 minutes with 10 men. After LMU, the Badgers have a tough stretch that includes games against Indiana, Creighton, Michigan and Michigan State. The Hoosiers, Bluejays and Spartans will all face the Badgers at the McClimon Complex.With the Big Ten opener against Indiana Oct. 2 at the McClimon Complex, Trask and the Badgers hope to have improved in all areas, as some are speculating the Big Ten title will come down to the Badgers and Hoosiers this year.“It’s either us or Indiana, I think, that should finish on top in the Big Ten, and hopefully we should be able to make the NCAA Tournament, too. I don’t think there’s a reason why we shouldn’t,” Prince said.The Badgers have everything they need to succeed – a nationally renowned coaching staff, young talent, veteran leadership and an opportunity for a much improved year. Where there is any possible doubt, Trask shows full confidence in his team.“Are we as experienced? No,” Trask said. “But I’d also say that we’re pretty darn good, so that should not be a hindrance going forward.”last_img read more

Matt Kemp, Yasmani Grandal HRs back Hyun-Jin Ryu as Dodgers pound Padres

first_imgKemp drove in 100 runs for the Padres in 2015 and became the first player in franchise history to hit for the cycle – “that was pretty cool,” he recalled Monday afternoon when pressed for memories from his time in San Diego.But he was traded away in midseason of 2016 as a salary dump – sound familiar? – having “lost some of my love for the game” (his words in a Players Tribune article), deteriorated defensively and collected a reputation as a poor teammate.“For sure, you come to a place where you played, you want to do good,” Kemp said, as close to a mic drop as he was willing to get Monday.Everything has been rainbows and unicorns since Kemp put a Dodgers uniform back on this spring and Monday’s two-hit night kept his standing as one of the few Dodgers hitters who can raise his head high in the first weeks of the season – he is batting .333 (14 for 42) with two home runs and seven RBIs.Hyun-Jin Ryu is enjoying a second act of his own, one that has been building since last season when he returned from shoulder and elbow surgeries that limited him to one start in all of 2015 and 2016.He started this season with a dud (a five-walk, 3-2/3-inning clunker in Arizona) but has followed with two starts that would have fit nicely in his 2013-14 catalog.Against the Padres, he gave up a two-run home run to Villanueva in the second inning then retired 15 of the next 17 batters he faced, allowing just one more hit and striking out nine in six innings. Over his past two starts, Ryu has allowed just four hits, walked one and struck out 17 in 12 innings.“I think with Hyun-Jin when he’s throwing the cut fastball to guys and the changeup off of that, later in the count when they’re thinking about the cutter in to them – a lot of times when you have enough velocity you can get the fastball to beat the barrel,” Roberts said. “Tonight, I saw some 92s, 93s. He can pitch at 90 but when he needs a 92 in there to just beat the bat, he has the ability.“It was good to see. It was kind of the Ryu from a couple years ago.” “Yazzie right now is locked in,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said.When Kemp left San Diego in a midseason trade two years ago, he left behind a bumbling team in the early stages of a rebuilding plan.Now … well, yeah.The Padres committed three errors Monday, each more laughable than the one before. Third baseman Christian Villanueva let a ground ball eat him up for a two-base error to start the third inning. Right fielder Hunter Renfroe was caught flat-footed when Corey Seager rocketed a line drive at him (ruled a three-base error) by the next batter. And an inning later, left fielder Jose Pirela simply dropped an easy fly ball.In between, Kemp’s three-run home run punctuated his latest return to the place where his career seemed to start going south, geographically at the very least. “He set the tone today. Obviously it’s always great to have a veteran presence in the dugout and he can still swing it with the best of them.”Kemp’s three-run home run highlighted a five-run third inning for the Dodgers. He also said with a laugh that it gave him something to “shut them up for awhile” after getting a hearty assortment of boos before his first at-bat as a recycled Dodger returning to one of his former baseball towns.“I just thought about that,” Kemp said when reminded of his trading-places history with Grandal. “Definitely weird. But definitely good to be doing what we’re doing.”It’s definitely a good thing for the Dodgers. Their lineup is otherwise sprinkled with underperforming hitters still trying to find their footing.Grandal drove in five runs with an RBI double and a grand slam. He leads the Dodgers in nearly every offensive category. PreviousSan Diego Padres relief pitcher Kazuhisa Makita, of Japan, pauses as he works against a Los Angeles Dodgers batter during the ninth inning of a baseball game, Monday, April 16, 2018, in San Diego. The Dodgers won 10-3. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu, of South Korea, works against a San Diego Padres batter during the first inning of a baseball game Monday, April 16, 2018, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)San Diego Padres starting pitcher Robbie Erlin pitches to a Los Angeles Dodgers batter during the first inning of a baseball game Monday, April 16, 2018, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull) SoundThe gallery will resume insecondsSan Diego Padres’ Christian Villanueva hits a two-run home run during the second inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers Monday, April 16, 2018, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)San Diego Padres’ Christian Villanueva is greeted by teammates in the dugout after hitting a two-run home run during the second inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers Monday, April 16, 2018, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu, of South Korea, works against a San Diego Padres batter during the first inning of a baseball game Monday, April 16, 2018, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)SAN DIEGO, CA – APRIL 16: Matt Kemp #27 of the Los Angeles Dodgers hits a single during the second inning of a baseball game against the San Diego Padres at PETCO Park on April 16, 2018 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)Los Angeles Dodgers’ Matt Kemp watches his three-run home run during the third inning of a baseball game against the San Diego Padres Monday, April 16, 2018, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)The Dodgers’ Matt Kemp drops his bat as he watches the flight of his three-run home run during the third inning of Monday’s game against the Padres in San Diego. The Dodgers won 10-3. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)Los Angeles Dodgers’ Matt Kemp, right, is greeted by third base coach Chris Woodward (45) after hitting a three-run home run during the third inning of a baseball game against the San Diego Padres Monday, April 16, 2018, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)Los Angeles Dodgers’ Matt Kemp reacts after hitting a three-run home run during the third inning of a baseball game against the San Diego Padres Monday, April 16, 2018, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)SAN DIEGO, CA – APRIL 16: Matt Kemp #27 of the Los Angeles Dodgers, right, is congratulated by Cody Bellinger #35 and Enrique Hernandez #14 after hitting a three-run home run during the third inning of a baseball game against the San Diego Padres at PETCO Park on April 16, 2018 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)San Diego Padres starting pitcher Robbie Erlin pitches to a Los Angeles Dodgers batter during the first inning of a baseball game Monday, April 16, 2018, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)SAN DIEGO, CA – APRIL 16: Hyun-Jin Ryu #99 of the Los Angeles Dodgers pitches during the fifth inning of a baseball game against the San Diego Padres at PETCO Park on April 16, 2018 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)SAN DIEGO, CA – APRIL 16: Hunter Renfroe #10 of the San Diego Padres walks back to the dugout after striking out during the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at PETCO Park on April 16, 2018 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)SAN DIEGO, CA – APRIL 16: Yasmani Grandal #9 of the Los Angeles Dodgers hits an RBI double during the second inning of a baseball game against the San Diego Padres at PETCO Park on April 16, 2018 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)SAN DIEGO, CA – APRIL 16: Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts comes onto the field before a baseball game against the San Diego Padres at PETCO Park on April 16, 2018 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)SAN DIEGO, CA – APRIL 16: Kazuhisa Makita #53 of the San Diego Padres pitches during the ninth inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at PETCO Park on April 16, 2018 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)SAN DIEGO, CA – APRIL 16: Yasmani Grandal #9 of the Los Angeles Dodgers hits a grand slam during the ninth inning of a baseball game against the San Diego Padres at PETCO Park on April 16, 2018 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)Los Angeles Dodgers’ Yasmani Grandal is greeted by third base coach Chris Woodward (45) after hitting a grand slam during the ninth inning of a baseball game against the San Diego Padres, Monday, April 16, 2018, in San Diego. The Dodgers won 10-3. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)Los Angeles Dodgers’ Yasmani Grandal reacts after hitting a grand slam during the ninth inning of a baseball game against the San Diego Padres, Monday, April 16, 2018, in San Diego. The Dodgers won 10-3. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)SAN DIEGO, CA – APRIL 16: Yasmani Grandal #9 of the Los Angeles Dodgers is congratulated by Joc Pederson #31 and Cody Bellinger #35 after hitting a grand slam during the ninth inning of a baseball game against the San Diego Padres at PETCO Park on April 16, 2018 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)San Diego Padres relief pitcher Kazuhisa Makita, of Japan, pauses as he works against a Los Angeles Dodgers batter during the ninth inning of a baseball game, Monday, April 16, 2018, in San Diego. The Dodgers won 10-3. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu, of South Korea, works against a San Diego Padres batter during the first inning of a baseball game Monday, April 16, 2018, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)NextShow Caption1 of 22Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu, of South Korea, works against a San Diego Padres batter during the first inning of a baseball game Monday, April 16, 2018, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)ExpandSAN DIEGO — San Diego is a lovely city, home to some of the best weather and beaches in the country and only the occasional trident-wielding anchorman.For Matt Kemp and Yasmani Grandal, however, the city sparks other memories.Those two former San Diego residents – traded for each other in December 2014 – combined to drive in eight runs as the Dodgers routed their former team 10-3 on Monday night in Petco Park.“The last thing I expected was to be playing with Kemp again,” Grandal said on SportsNet LA after the game. “Definitely the last thing we expected was to be playing in L.A. against San Diego.center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error –last_img read more