UW ready for state bragging rights

· Oct 9, 2001 Tweet

The UW women’s soccer team is preparing for an emotional in-state rivalry that is slated for renewal this evening at the McClimon Complex.

Foe UW-Milwaukee, members of the Horizon conference, (2-0 conference, 6-2 overall), makes the short journey from Lake Michigan to Lake Mendota amid a six-game win streak.

UW-Milwaukee has made a solid season for itself after dropping the first two contests by a total of five goals. Since then, the Panthers have put together six straight games without a loss. The last time they tasted defeat was over a month ago, succumbing Sept. 2 to Oakland.

Wisconsin, however, managed to break out of its four-game scoring rut last weekend and is searching for a springboard to get back into Big Ten championship contention. The Badgers (1-3-1, 4-5-2) are planning for tonight’s game to display plenty of zeal from both teams.

“(Oakland is) doing well on the season and they come with a lot of emotion,” Badger head coach Dean Duerst said. “You have to match that emotion. We’re at a point in which we’re somewhat desperate [to get a win] ? it should be a fairly emotional game.”

The Panthers will use a pair of goalies, giving their opponents a different look during the game. So far, UW-Milwaukee has been quite successful with it. UWM has tallied four shutouts and allowed only a pair of goals during its win streak. Duerst does not believe that two goalies will disrupt the Badgers.

“We will score goals [tonight],” Duerst said.

Whether it’s the Badgers or UW-Milwaukee that comes away with the victory will depend on the performance of each team’s respective midfielders. UW-Milwaukee senior captain Erin Blaedlow has been torching opponents as of late, scoring four goals and assisting on one in the previous three games, good enough to be named Horizon Player of the Week.

Blaedlow will be playing, and it will be up to Badger forwards Lauren Schmidt, Kristen Betz and Molly Meuer to press her. Using last year’s game as experience, the UW forwards shouldn’t have too much difficulty putting the clamps down defensively.

“They will be able to work together to hopefully freeze [Blaedlow] out of the game,” said Duerst. “Eliminate her being an impact. They’re going to have to worry about chasing us around.”

The question still remains concerning who will provide goalie Kelly Conway with the scoring support.

Last weekend two freshmen, Amy Vermuelen and Marla Froelich, accounted for 75 percent of the Badgers’ scoring. Duerst does not care where the scoring strikes come from, concerning himself only with the fact that the Badgers’ scoring chances are converted.

“In every game we’ve played so far, we’ve had enough chances to win the games,” said Duerst. “It is just a matter for us to put those away. We’ve got to finish, and I think we’ll have those opportunities [tonight].”

The game should permit an emotionally charged atmosphere between the Badgers and Panthers. After all, bragging rights for the state are at stake.


This article was published Oct 9, 2001 at 12:00 am and last updated Oct 9, 2001 at 12:00 am


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