As if the average UW student doesn’t have enough to stress about; the typical collegiate athlete has even more. Add weight training, practice time and games into that equation and you end up with an unheralded amount of free time during the so-called “in season.”
Freshman forward Amy Vermeulen isn’t fazed. She’s not afraid to try what Bo and Deion already have. Vermeulen will become a two-sport collegiate star in the coming months, adding hockey to her repertoire.
The soccer and hockey seasons conflict, causing Vermeulen to miss a portion of the hockey year. However, she isn’t planning on letting the overlapping weeks deter her from her dream. Having already been a duel-sport star in high school, Vermeulen remains cool in the face of adversity.
“I will have to finish soccer season first and then go into hockey,” said Vermeulen. “I’ll miss the preseason for hockey until soccer is finished, then go right into hockey. I will miss approximately eight hockey games.”
The UW soccer team doesn’t have the power to prohibit Vermeulen from partaking in hockey. Because hockey is a full contact sport, Wisconsin head coach Dean Duerst has anxieties, but will not be holding his breath regarding the two-sport decision.
“[It's] just something you have to deal with as a program,” Duerst said.
Duerst hasn’t had to deal with many two-sport phenoms, so he plans on handling the situation with care.
“We just need to be sensitive to how that works in a player’s career here,” said Duerst. “[Vermeulen's] being doing this all her life, and she’s such a good athlete; that’s why she can play both hockey and soccer. She’s very strong, and a great skater too. I’m excited for her. I know [she] can do both.”
For now, Vermeulen will concentrate on soccer, since that season doesn’t conclude until mid-November. The women’s hockey season doesn’t officially begin until early October.
More Is Not Always Better: UW has not been shutout by an opponent all year. The Badgers, who out-shot both Purdue and Indiana 38-20, could not convert when the pressure was present.
“It is kind of disappointing for your attacking players, because they had opportunities,” said Duerst. “But you have to move on, you have to regroup.”
Overall, UW has placed more shots in the goal than their opponents (75-63), but have not been as efficient as their opponents.
“The most important thing for our team is consistency of play,” Duerst said. “We need to play under pressure. You don’t stop until the last second of the game.”