The University of Wisconsin women’s soccer team will finish their regular season this Wednesday against the No. 11 team in the nation, Penn State. 

The highest ranked Big Ten team will be the Badger’s last challenge before tournament play begins at the end of October. Penn State (10-3-3, 6-1-3) will visit the McClimon Track/Soccer Complex Wednesday to face No. 34 Wisconsin (11-4-2, 5-3-2).

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For Wisconsin, this game will be the final chapter of a regular season with abundant highs and lows. While the Badgers began the season 6-1 with a victory over then-No.3 ranked Virginia, the story has changed since conference play began. In their 10 Big Ten games thus far, Wisconsin has gone just 5-3-2, making for an under-performing year in the conference, with six of those contests going into overtime.

However, the Badger women are coming off arguably their best win in over a month. Their 3-0 takedown last Saturday in Iowa was the largest margin of victory the team has had since their 3-0 victory against Drake on Sep. 7.

The Badgers hope this victory against the Hawkeyes can be the spark for an offense that has been underwhelming for most of the season.  Wisconsin is hoping they can continue this upturn past Penn State and into the Big Ten tournament.

Dani Rhodes looks to continue the leadership she showed in the previous contest against Iowa.  Rhodes hit her tenth goal of the season in the game and assisted Becca Harrison’s score with a deflection just minutes after.  After running various different formations throughout the year, it is clear that at this point Rhodes is the only consistent option on the offensive end.

Rose Chandler, Penn State’s goaltender, will be a difficult obstacle for Wisconsin’s offense to overcome. Chandler has a .750 save percentage on the year and maintains an impressive 10-3-2 record.

On the other hand, Wisconsin keeper Caitlyn Clem will look to end the regular season on a high note. After defending so many close contests of late, Clem must have felt relieved defending a three-point lead in the last game. Though Clem started off the year hot, she had slipped somewhat in her most recent contest, allowing two goals to Northwestern, before shutting out Iowa on Saturday.

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Penn State’s offense is less top-heavy than the Badgers, with eight players having at least two scores on the season. Schafer, Ogle and Sheva will lead the way as the Nittany Lions most effective scorers, with five, four and four goals respectively.

Kickoff is Wednesday at 7 p.m. in Madison, with live coverage available on BTN Plus.