The University of Wisconsin women’s soccer (1-1-2) team battled the Drake Bulldogs (2-0-1) to a 0-0 draw Sunday afternoon at the McClimon Track/Soccer Complex.
UW-Madison looked for its second win of the season following a loss at Notre Dame and tie to UW-Milwaukee. But the efforts of Drake goalkeeper Haley Morris and her five saves squashed any hope of victory.
The match opened, seemingly one-sided, in favor of the Badgers, yet they were unable to take advantage of numerous opportunities. Throughout the first half, Wisconsin created numerous chances, including nine shots (three on-goal), and spent most of it in Drake’s half, while dominating possession.
Wisconsin’s best scoring chance came in minute 19 when midfielder Rose Lavelle followed up a blocked with one of her own that Morris saved. It would not be the only time Lavelle called Morris to action, as the senior tallied eight shots total, three on goal.
By turning away Wisconsin’s barrage time and again, Morris increased her scoreless streak to 155 minutes this season.
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With so much action taking place at the other end, the Badgers defense had a relatively calm first half and faced just two shots, each of which lacked menace. The more dangerous one was in minute 43 when Wisconsin goalkeeper Caitlyn Clem hauled in a lazy header from Drake midfielder Brooke Salisbury.
After the break, UW-Madison did not lose a step offensively and continued to create more chances, but were again unable to capitalize. In minute 56, the Badgers had yet another close call when midfielder Alexis Tye’s shot was brushed over the bar by a diving, finger-tip save from Morris.
Despite turning the Badgers away, Drake barely controlled the ball in the the second half and never produced an offensive threat. UW-Madison head coach Paula Wilkins credited her team’s ability to defend against the counter-attack as a major contributor of possession.
“[Drake] didn’t get as many numbers forward,” Wilkins said. “They were looking to counterattack us, so we were able to win the first ball coming out and control it that way.”
The game would continue into overtime, but with it continuing in the same fashion and neither side finding the back of the net, it continued to be a frustrating affair for the Badgers, who outshot the Bulldogs 24 to 6.
“We need to find a way to win,” Wilkins said. “If we get this many opportunities, we’ve got to find a way to do that. I think we have to go back to the drawing board and look at personnel and see what other people can add to our team.”
Overtime was not without its excitement though. In minute 98, UW-Madison received a penalty kick, Lavelle poised to take it. Her shot hit the left post, but rebounded back to her where she netted the ensuing volley. Were it not for an offsides call on the play, game would’ve ended on the spot.
Freshman Dani Rhodes, who recorded three shots (one on goal), aired her frustrations afterward.
“It’s hard to have two overtime games back to back on the weekend,” Rhodes said. “At the end of the day, we have to execute on certain plays. We definitely should have won that game.”
With the draw, the Badgers will now travel to California for a tough road trip where they will face No. 3 Stanford University and No. 13 Santa Clara University.