Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Badgers making most of spring schedule

When most people think of spring sports, they think baseball, softball, maybe track and field or even crew, but lurking in the shadows is a team that primary plays in fall — the women’s soccer team.

The short spring season is an important part of building a program. Whether it is conditioning, skill improvement or just staying familiar with teammates, spring provides a launching point for the fall season.

“[Spring] is really time to develop your new team, who you are,” head coach Dean Duerst said.


Spring is also a time for the team to grow without the pressure of games every weekend.

“[The team] has fun, they enjoy each other, and that is kind of what spring is about,” Duerst said. “You don’t have that pressure for two games on a weekend all the time, but this group is performing well when they do get that pressure laid on top of them. That is sort of what spring does for you. It helps develop a new identity for a team.”

Spring provides players with a chance to work in different positions and see where and with whom they are able to make the biggest impact.

“[Spring] allowed us to look at some different player personnel,” Duerst said. “Putting some different people in some different roles, different positions, see how well they do. You know, challenge some different people against each other.”

The short season gives the players and coaches a chance to see where the players are conditioning-wise and work to get better.

“We have done sort of like a fitness testing,” Duerst said. “From where we started in February to where we are now, they all improved. Some it is very difficult for them to improve because they are so fit, but even those showed some improvement.”

Finally, spring is the time when leaders emerge.

“In the spring I work with a leadership group — that is the six seniors,” Duerst said. “They now have to feel this new kind of responsibility. The team is going to move in a direction of its strongest force — its leadership.”

“Those juniors in school are like ‘wow, this is it, this is the last year’,” Duerst said.

Four of those seniors-to-be have stepped up and into leadership roles as captains for the fall season. Jessica Ring returns as one captain and is joined by Amy Vermeulen, Katy Lindenmuth and Marisa Brown.

“You look at those four and you can rely on them,” Duerst said. “They bring this consistency, this level of focus and concentration. Ultimately they are the people that will make us extremely competitive. I have a lot of high expectations for those four.”

Coach Duerst expects them to be the benchmark for the rest of the team to strive for.

“They kind of set a standard for the rest of the group,” Duerst said. “The rest of the group has some real good talent and intensity in their play, too, but it is kind of exciting to have four [leaders] like that.”

Even beyond the captains, the team has a lot of players with experience. It is this experience that gives Duerst a lot of confidence heading into next season.

“I feel like the team is very dynamic,” he said. “Which means they have to win. I think with this team because of their experience, because of the depth it is making the top players even better. Position per position, there are some very good challenges going on out there.”

However, in addition to the many seasoned players on the team, a great deal of future talent is laying in wait. Nine freshmen will be added to the squad in the fall, adding even more depth and competition to an already deep team.

“It will be an interesting mix of several new players that are obviously talented youth players that are coming into sort of a senior developed kind of team,” Duerst said. “I think the young players coming in will give a great challenge and some of them will take a little longer to adjust.”

But in the end both the team and Duerst are ready for the spring season to end so they can get back into the competition of the fall.

“[Spring] gets too long without enough competition,” he said. “But it will be exciting for the team in the fall.”

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Badger Herald

Your donation will support the student journalists of University of Wisconsin-Madison. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Badger Herald

Comments (0)

All The Badger Herald Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *