The women’s soccer team snapped two ongoing streaks this weekend.
The scoreless streak was broken by three goals and the losing streak was ended with a win over Iowa, earning the Badgers their first Big Ten conference victory on Friday.
UW (1-3-1 Big Ten, 4-4-2 overall) overcame a first-half deficit to notch a 3-1 win. Iowa (2-2, 4-6) got on the board first using a goal from Sara Lynch just eight-and-a-half minutes into the game. The Badgers went into halftime down a goal.
Wisconsin’s head coach Dean Duerst must have given his team something to think about during the half because UW responded by dominating shots on goal, 12-3, in the second half, and showed an aggressiveness not seen in past Big Ten contests.
Freshman forward Amy Vermeulen broke the Badgers four-game scoreless streak with her third goal of the season at the 67th minute. Soon after that, Vermeulen broke the Badgers four-game losing skid with her second goal of the match and fourth of the season, coming at the 70th minute.
“We needed a spark from Amy,” said Duerst. “I told her before the game that I had a feeling [about the game].”
Senior Kelly Kundert tallied her fourth goal of the season scoring with two minutes remaining on a breakaway, banking it in off the woodwork. Kundert leads the team with 10 points this season.
Kelly Conway tended the net superbly, stopping 10 of 11 shots. The Badgers out-shot the Hawkeyes 21-11 in the game.
The Badgers finally caught the breaks and were able to convert when presented with the opportunity.
“We needed that (win),” Duerst said. “Tonight you saw the Badgers that were meant to be. We showed an aggressiveness, an assertiveness in the second half. In past games, the ball hasn’t bounced our way, but the ball did bounce our way today.”
Unfortunately for the Badgers, they could not carry their momentum through to yesterday’s game against Illinois. UW dropped the game 2-1 and fell to 1-4-1, 4-5-2, halting their winning streak at one.
Illinois (4-1, 6-4) got a goal from Colleen Joyce who bagged the game’s first score at the 27th minute. Freshman Marla Froelich converted her first collegiate goal and the Badgers scored their lone mark on the game three minutes before half to knot the game at one.
“(Froelich) has worked very hard and has shown good effort and good things in practice,” said Duerst. “She’s a player that we felt she deserved some playing time, and she’s come on and done some good things.”
Illinois dominated UW, firing shots on goal at will on Conway. The UW keeper was once again able to keep the opposition’s offense at bay, allowing only two goals on 26 Illini shots. UI forward Tara Schulling got the game winner by scoring the second Illinois goal with 15 minutes remaining in the match.
“Our players cannot lose heart; they need to keep their mentality tough,” said Duerst. “We played with guts today, and it’s good to see that we can come out and play strong.”
The Badgers will receive a break from conference play with a game against UW-Milwaukee Wednesday night before resuming against Big Ten rival Minnesota Sunday.