Badgers extend season

first_imgDEREK MONTGOMERY/Herald photoThe Wisconsin women’s soccer team was finally able to unleash some aggression this weekend by collecting two potent victories. Their first and most important victory came Friday when the Badgers defeated Northwestern 1-0 to advance to the Big Ten tournament. The Badgers then defeated Colorado College 2-0 at home Sunday to fashionably close out the regular season.Sunday’s non-conference game was another must-win for the Badgers. With the win, Wisconsin was able to reach the 10-win plateau. A 10-win season is also important if the Badgers hope to qualify for the NCAA tournament.”This was a must-win game for us,” head coach Dean Duerst said. “We needed 10 wins, and hopefully more than 10 wins, [because] you never know what a committee is going to do. We have had a very strong record and sometimes, that tenth record is going to put you over the edge. … This was a game that could potentially put us in the NCAA [tournament].”Wisconsin started the game sloppy, missing plenty of scoring opportunities against Colorado College’s goalkeeper Geneva Sills. At the 20-minute mark, forward Taylor Walsh sent the ball flying over the head of Sills to a wide-open Allison Preiss. Preiss was unable to handle the header and sent the ball sailing over the net.Both teams were unable to generate any points during the first half.Wisconsin later picked up momentum in the second half when junior Kara Kabellis scored in the 64th minute to give the Badgers a 1-0 advantage. Marissa Brown passed the ball to Kabellis, who shot it past a diving Sills. The ball wound up landing in the back left corner of the net.Freshman Sandy Jorgensen scored the final decider in the 80th minute on a header off a cross from Walsh.The Badgers out-shot the Tigers 6-1 in the second half and concluded the game with a 12-6 advantage. Sophomore goalkeeper Lynn Murray posted two saves and her second-straight shutout.Wisconsin’s final season victory was catered by energy following another must-win contest against Northwestern Friday. Both teams needed a victory to advance to the Big Ten tournament.Wisconsin prevailed in the match, with freshman Elise Webber scoring the lone goal in the 70th minute and Preiss giving the assist. The junior passed the ball to an open Amy Vermeulen, who found Webber opened near the net. Weber then snuck the ball past Northwestern goalkeeper Whitney Jones with her left foot to put the Badgers back in the Big Ten tournament.”The result [against Northwestern] was great,” assistant coach Carrie Barker said. “They knew what they needed to do. Over the last five games, the opportunity to get into the Big Ten tournament got smaller and smaller and pressure was getting bigger and bigger. The girls stepped it up and accepted the pressure and knew they had no other choice but to get a win. It is great to see us playing our best soccer at the right time when it really matters.””It’s a pretty good indication, especially when you go through some rough times, how you finish your season,” Duerst added. “Right now, we are playing our best soccer and that was important that [the team] hung in there mentally. [The seniors] were a huge boost to our whole program because [they showed] how you are mentally able to handle adversity and stick together as team. You need that heart and soul of a team to be your leaders and to help carry you. [This weekend] was dedicated to our seniors for the legacy and the impact they have left to the program.”-Shannon Van Curen contributed to this reportlast_img read more