Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


UW celebrates silver anniversary

This weekend is going to be a little more special than others for the University of Wisconsin women's soccer team (5-4-2, 2-2-0 in the Big Ten).

Sandwiched between match-ups against Michigan (5-5-2, 1-2-0) and Michigan State (4-6-1, 2-3-0) will be a celebration of 25 years of women's varsity soccer in Madison. More than 100 current and former players are scheduled to be in attendance Saturday at a reception at the Kohl Center to join in the festivities.

"It'll be really great for our players to actually see the history of the program, to be a part of that history so that they can carry on that tradition," UW head coach Dean Duerst said.


Duerst, who has been with the women's soccer program for 18 years, said he has seen how the campus and the people have changed, but the one constant has been the type of players Madison has recruited.

"Wisconsin attracts a very special [player]," Duerst added. "Not only top athletes, but we've always had such great academics and players that have just really had wonderful careers after soccer. So it's great for them to come back."

In order to make the weekend even more special, the Badgers are looking to sweep their two foes from Michigan.

"Obviously, we want two wins," sophomore forward Sheri Ferron said. "It's going to be a huge weekend. I think getting two wins would be great for us."

If the past three matches have been any indication, Ferron could play a large role in getting the sweep. Ferron has scored in three consecutive games, including a pair of goals in last Sunday's come-from-behind victory over Minnesota.

"I've just been given opportunities," she said. "The team's been coming together, and I guess it just so happens that, yeah, I might be the one scoring them, but I think it's just the whole team coming together and starting to mold."

Ferron currently leads the team in goals with four and in points with 10, but one of the more remarkable aspects of her recent surge is that she's done most of it by coming off the bench. Ferron has started only three of the 11 games thus far, but she has no problem with her role on the team.

"In the beginning, I was coming off the bench and that is a different role and it just takes a mindset," Ferron said. "You have to fill whatever role you're given because there are certain things you can't control.

"If I'm starting, then I'll fill that role. If I'm not, then I'll look to be the best person off the bench," she added.

While Ferron may be the catalyst for the Badgers this weekend, both the Wolverines and Spartans have their own go-to players.

Michigan is led by junior Melissa Dobbyn who has three goals and nine points on the season, while Michigan State relies on freshman Lauren Hill. Hill currently leads the Big Ten in scoring with 16 points and is tied for the lead in goals with seven.

For both players, Duerst says while his team needs to be aware of them, he doesn't want to become too concerned with either player.

"When you have dangerous players, you typically need to be extra aware of them," Duerst said. "And if the time is right, say 'OK, let's commit somebody right on her all the time.' That becomes a minor adjustment versus a major one. I think that's the important thing in the psychology of the sport is to not be over-consumed with a player."

Shutting down Dobbyn and Hill will be huge if the Badgers want to celebrate their 25th anniversary weekend in style, but while the anniversary is no doubt huge for the program, there are at least two other reasons why it will be a special weekend.

Last Tuesday, the new NSCAA Great Lakes Regional poll was released and the Badgers were tied for 10th with Ball State, marking the first time this season that the Badgers have been ranked in this ballot.

Duerst said the new status is proof of the progress the team is making this year.

"It just shows we're moving in the right direction," he said. "There's a great challenge that lies ahead of us, in terms of that ranking, and obviously we want to be in that top four."

Directly ahead of Wisconsin in the Great Lakes Regional poll at No. 9 is Michigan, and if the Badgers can knock off the Wolverines, Duerst will be celebrating his 150th victory. While he admits that, much like the program's 300th victory less than two weeks ago, the milestone is important. He said he's got only one thing on his mind this weekend.

"I just want to win Friday night," Duerst said. "That's really where I want to be focused on and keep the small important details for the team and those kinds of things.

"But then again, this is a special weekend, so you [also] look back on the years you've been involved."

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 *