Women’s soccer: Badgers fall short of Big Ten title on final day

Wisconsin split games versus Nebraska, Ohio State last weekend, win streak ends at four

· Oct 23, 2018 Tweet

Quinn Beaupre/The Badger Herald

The No. 19 University of Wisconsin women’s soccer team (12-3-3, 6-2-3 Big Ten) finished their Big Ten regular season schedule over the weekend, missing the regular season title but earning the No. 4 seed in the Big Ten. The Badgers beat Nebraska (8-6-4, 4-4-3 Big Ten) 1–0 Thursday in their home regular season finale before falling to The Ohio State University (9-5-3, 6-2-3 Big Ten) 2–1 in Columbus Sunday.

The shutout over Nebraska was business as usual for a Badger team that has been incredibly effective on defense as of late, allowing just three goals in their previous five contests. At goal, Jordyn Bloomer was limited but effective in her work, notching all five of her save opportunities.

Forward Lauren Rice’s first period score was the lone goal in the contest and was also her seventh of the season. 2018 has been a breakout year for Rice as the sophomore leads Wisconsin in goals with seven.

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In her post-match conversation with UW Athletics, Head Coach Paula Wilkins was impressed with the Badgers’ ability to maintain their early lead versus a tough opponent in Nebraska.

“Nebraska poses a very interesting problem, tactically,” Wilkins said. “What they do, they do very well. I thought our team bought into the game plan and was disciplined in what they did and I thought they brought a physical challenge that they needed to bring.”

Entering the game against Ohio State, Wisconsin had an opportunity to be Big Ten regular season co-champions with Penn State as the Badgers were just three points behind them in the standings heading into each team’s final match. But Penn State secured the outright title and continued their seven-game win streak with a 2–0 shutout versus Minnesota.

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After the Big Ten championship was decided, Wisconsin still had to play their game versus Ohio State. The Buckeyes scored quickly with a ninth-minute goal from forward Marissa Birzon. But Dani Rhodes answered quickly for the striker’s fourth goal of the season, knotting the game up at 1–1.

Following an own goal off a deflection by Camryn Biegalski, the Badgers needed another score to equalize. Despite putting up eight shots in the second period, Wisconsin couldn’t hit the back of the net and the team ended their regular season with a 2–1 defeat.

But the Badgers can still earn conference honors with a Big Ten Tournament championship, a feat the team hasn’t achieved since 2015. Wisconsin will host No. 5 seed Illinois at the McClimon Complex for the Big Ten Quarterfinal Sunday.


This article was published Oct 23, 2018 at 8:10 pm and last updated Oct 23, 2018 at 8:10 pm


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