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Men’s soccer: Freshman walk-on has impressed teammates, coaches

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first_imgWalking on to a Division I athletic team is no easy feat, no matter what sport it’s for.Redshirt freshman forward Isaac Schlenker of the Wisconsin men’s soccer team can attest to that.“It’s pretty difficult,” he said. “It initially started with me just emailing the coaches. Then they came and saw me play once and offered me a tryout in the spring. From there it was an extended tryout for the entire spring, and I just proved myself from there.”During Schlenker’s freshman year at University of Wisconsin, he played on the school’s club team, catching the eye of UW head coach John Trask.“[Schlenker] impressed the coaching staff with his technical ability and his range as an attacking option,” Trask said.Schlenker isn’t just some random kid with a little bit of skill, as he had quite the soccer career before arriving on the UW campus.The Milwaukee native was a member of Milwaukee’s Bavarians Soccer Club for the duration of his prep soccer career, racking up three Wisconsin State Cups with the club. Trask says that Schlenker’s background with the Bavarians and his ability to be in the necessary position at the right time is a unique combination in soccer.Schlenker’s high school accolades are equally as impressive. He spent his high school career at University School of Milwaukee, earning a place on the Midwest Classic Conference first team three times and only being excluded during his freshman season. In his final campaign at USM, Schlenker was named the Midwest Classic Conference’s Player of the Year in which he scored 37 goals and assisted on another 12.Schlenker said playing for a D-I team like Wisconsin is unlike anything he’s ever done before in his soccer career.“It’s been extremely intense, but that’s what I like about it,” he said. “It’s really fun.”For a freshman walk-on, Schlenker has seen a substantial amount of game time over the course of the season, something he says is due to his consistency during training and remaining focused on his role on the team.“From working hard, to not slacking off or getting distracted, it just takes consistent effort,” Schlenker said.Part of this focus comes from his time off the pitch as well. Now having to deal with the lifestyle as a student-athlete, Schlenker says he’s always busy doing something and no longer has time to be lazy by watching television or sleeping.Schlenker has played in eight of 12 games this season, logging 275 minutes so far during the 2015 campaign. More recently, Schlenker has seen an increase in the amount of minutes he’s out on the pitch.His hard work paid off when Schlenker scored his first goal for the Badgers during an early September fixture against UC-Davis. He currently sits in seventh place in the team in points with two.Schlenker’s spring tryout is when he really caught the eyes of the coaching staff. During his extended spring trial with the team, Schlenker was able to showcase his skills as a goal-poacher, scoring a goal in the 4-1 win against I-94 rival Marquette.Men’s Soccer: UW clashes with Marquette in I-94 rivalryThe Wisconsin men’s soccer team returns home this Wednesday in search of a first win on home turf as they Read…Schlenker is just another talented player to the youthful ability that the Badgers already possess. Though a lot of the other sophomores are still finding their footing in the team, Schlenker has really hit the ground running in his first season on the team.Assistant coach Keith Tiemeyer had nothing but praise for Schlenker, noting his potency in front of the goal and his excellent timing on runs. Trask has also been impressed by the way Schlenker has been getting around the ball and making plays.Schlenker feels he will be able to continue to serve as a vital player in the years to come.“I think I have the potential to be a key contributor,” Schlenker said. “I just have to work hard in-season and off-season. I just can’t slack off.”It’s not every day you see a walk-on make a significant impact on a team, but Schlenker is certainly on his way to leaving his mark on the Wisconsin men’s soccer program.last_img read more

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‘Proud’ Lampard eyes first Chelsea win in home debut

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first_imgShare on: WhatsApp Frank Lampard Chelsea managerLondon, United Kingdom | AFP | Frank Lampard admits his first match as Chelsea manager at Stamford Bridge will be a proud occasion, but only a win against Leicester will make Sunday’s homecoming a truly memorable occasion.After successive defeats in his opening two competitive games in charge, Blues legend Lampard is desperate to get his reign up and running with three points this weekend.The 41-year-old, Chelsea’s record goal-scorer, is certain to get a hero’s welcome from his adoring fans despite the frustrating start to the season.A crushing 4-0 defeat at Manchester United in Chelsea’s opening game of the Premier League campaign was followed by Wednesday’s penalty shoot-out loss to Liverpool in the European Super Cup in Istanbul.Both performances featured moments of promise for Chelsea, but Lampard knows he will be judged on results, making it essential to avoid a third consecutive defeat when Leicester visit west London.“I’m proud to manage this club. I’ve been back a few times and had great support,” Lampard said.“It will be an emotional, special day for me but the important thing is trying to get the three points and that’s what I am really worried about.”“There were good parts of the Man United game that got lost in the result but not lost on me — against Liverpool, we played one of the top teams in the world and really matched them.”Lampard has only one season of managerial experience in the second tier with Derby, but his strong connection with Chelsea persuaded owner Roman Abramovich to hire him in the close-season.It was a bold move and Lampard is enduring a baptism of fire after Chelsea sold star playmaker Eden Hazard while operating under a transfer ban that has forced him to turn to the club’s youngsters.– ‘Big challenge’ –Lampard is still getting settled into the job and he acknowledges Leicester, who opened the season with a goalless draw against Wolves, will pose a stern test to his hopes of a maiden win. “It’s a big game for us in front of our home fans for the first time this season,” Lampard said ahead of the game against Brendan Rodgers’ team.“Leicester are very much a team that should be respected for the players and manager they have got and how they have performed in recent years.“I know Brendan well. He’s a fantastic manager. He’s got a great group of players there. They will be well coached so we are going to have a big challenge.“Our mindset is important. It’s been a strange two games. We can’t think the strong performance on Wednesday will replicate itself just because we walk out on that pitch. It’s important we tackle it head on with a real focus.”Lampard was forced to condemn racist abuse of Tammy Abraham on social media after the young Chelsea striker missed the decisive penalty against Liverpool.It remains to be seen if Abraham returns to the team after he started the United game and was then a substitute against Liverpool as Olivier Giroud came in.Lampard also has German defender Antonio Rudiger and Brazilian winger Willian back in contention after the pair returned to training.Rodgers, who worked in Chelsea’s backroom staff during Lampard’s playing career, believes the inexperienced manager will prove a success in the long-term.“In the games I have seen, Chelsea have played with a good tempo and intensity,” Rodgers said.“Frank understands the importance of giving those young players a chance, but he also knows he has to win matches and get results, and I believe he will do well there.”last_img read more

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