By playing to a 2-2 tie Sunday afternoon at Alumni Field in South Bend, Ind., the Wisconsin women’s soccer team accomplished what few teams have done. The Badgers overcame a 2-1 deficit and prevented a Fighting Irish victory, breaking Notre Dame’s home win streak.
Nearly unstoppable at home, the Irish, who have a 102-3-2 record in their last 107 home games, were coming off their 29th-consecutive home win. Denying ND its 30th-straight win, the Badgers also broke one of their own marks ? a 10-game losing streak to the Irish.
“It was one of the most exciting games to be a part of,” coach Dean Duerst said. “We certainly had opportunities to win the game, and that was exciting.”
The Badgers got on the board first with an early goal from senior Kelly Kundert, whose second goal of the year was unassisted.
Monica Gonzalez responded for Notre Dame at the 27:54 mark, and the score was knotted at one at the end of the first half.
“Overall, it was an even game,” Duerst said. “But Notre Dame was very dangerous, obviously the best team we’ve seen all year. They’re a kind of team you can learn a lot from because they are talented.”
Using excellent placement, Notre Dame took the lead in the second half on another high shot over junior Kelly Conway, who made six saves. Conway made four of her six saves in the overtime periods, including a couple of game-saving stops.
“The two Kellys were outstanding,” Duerst said of Conway and Kundert. “It was Conway’s effort in goal that put us in position to win.”
And it was Kundert who provided the tie. With less than 10 minutes left, Kundert fired in a pass from freshman Kristen Betz to send the game into extra periods.
The Irish outshot the Badgers 18-12 and had more corner kicks (7-4), but it was the Wisconsin defense and team play that kept UW in the game.
“People raised their level of play individually, but to also do so as a team; that’s what made the difference,” Duerst said. “We really got solid performances out of a lot of players I could go down the list and talk about everybody.”
Before the Badgers took Notre Dame to the wire on Sunday, they were able to enjoy a 3-0 victory over Oakland on Friday in Rochester, Mich.
“It was a very good comeback victory after a really disappointing loss [last] Sunday,” Duerst said. “The team showed some heart and came in the second half and really picked up their game.”
Three Badgers scored their second goals of the season to give UW the victory. The Badgers outshot the Grizzlies 21-5 and held Oakland’s Anita Rapp, who was named to Soccer Buzz’s National Elite Team last week, to four shots.
“We really suffocated them in the first half on defense,” Duerst said. “I thought that the wind was a factor, and we kept them in their end.”
Senior Natalie Roedler scored the first goal of the game and the game winner off her left foot from a Wynter Pero pass.
Freshman Amy Vermeulen put the Badgers up 2-0 at 81:33. Kelly Kundert drove the ball across to Vermeulen, and the rookie, who will also play on the UW women’s hockey team this winter, put it in. Four minutes later, sophomore Tia Dale, who last week scored the first goal of her career, finished the scoring off a pass from Jenny Kundert.
With support from a solid Badger defense, Conway had to make just two saves to register her first shutout of the season.
“I still think Kelly Conway was very solid and gave up no extra chances,” Duerst said. “The kind of chances they did have were pretty decent, and Kelly had to make one or two very solid saves in the first half.”