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The Badger Herald

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Kelter’s 2 headers lead UW past Blue Demons

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Freshman Alev Kelter heads in her second goal of the match, a game-winner in the 89th minute of UW\’s 2-1 victory Sunday.[/media-credit]

With two goals off the head of freshman midfielder Alev Kelter, the Wisconsin women’s soccer team edged out DePaul 2-1 for its second win of the weekend at the McClimon Soccer Complex.

Kelter led the way for the Badgers, putting two balls past DePaul goalkeeper Claire Hanold on headers in the last 15 minutes of play. Kelter was assisted on both goals by sophomore defender Meghan Flannery.

“I think God’s amazing and He definitely led me to score those two goals,” Kelter said. “And it feels great to finally get some offense going.”

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Kelter’s first goal came in the 76th minute on a corner kick from the far side. Flannery put an excellent ball in the box for Kelter to score on a header at the near post.

The second goal also resulted from a corner kick, but more indirectly. After the corner did not result in a goal, Flannery got the ball again about 30 yards out on the far side and put another impressive serve over the middle that resulted in a Kelter header at the far post.

“Anywhere I place the ball, I know somebody’s going to get there and more often than not it’s going to be Alev,” Flannery said. “I think that’s something that’s good about our team, we know that we can get those balls through and score on corners now.”

Wisconsin (4-2-1) had trailed for a little more than 20 minutes before Kelter’s first goal tied the game.

DePaul midfielder Tara Strickland, a junior from Libertyville, Ill., scored the Blue Demons’ only goal in the 55th minute on a free kick from 25 yards out. Strickland put the ball just out of reach for Badger goalkeeper Michele Dalton to give DePaul a 1-0 lead at the time.

According to head coach Paula Wilkins, it was the turning point in the game.

“When they scored, I thought we actually started playing a little bit harder,” Wilkins said.

After allowing zero goals in its first four home games, the Wisconsin defense had its shutout streak snapped when DePaul scored. And though the defense appeared to struggle early in the half, UW responded to the goal by keeping the Blue Demons off the board the rest of the way, allowing just one shot on goal in the final 35 minutes.

Not only did the Badgers keep DePaul from scoring again, their strong defense also played a huge role in allowing the team to come from behind for the win, keeping the ball on the UW offensive end as much as possible.

“Obviously, I’m happy with the result … especially coming from behind,” Wilkins said. “I think that showed some character.”

In Wisconsin’s first game of the weekend on Friday, the Badgers defeated North Dakota State 1-0, its fourth shutout of the season.

Senior captain Krista Liskevych netted the only goal for UW, putting the ball past NDSU goalkeeper Kalani Bertsch on a penalty kick, which Kelter earned when she was fouled on the previous play in the box.

“I thought it was a great individual effort for Alev to dribble through and get the PK,” Wilkins said. “I thought she did a great job in terms of initiating and making things happen. I always believe that the player who gets fouled doesn’t take the PK and we’ve established Krista as our PK taker.”

Although she did not get the opportunity to score following the foul, Kelter was happy with the play.

“I think that’s part of the game,” Kelter said. “Just working hard off the ball is what led to that. Our team is very good at drawing penalties and just working hard.”

In two games this weekend, the Badgers outplayed both the Bison and Blue Devils, especially on the defensive end. Wisconsin outshot its opponents 28-12, including a 16-4 advantage in shots on goal.

With just one goal allowed on the weekend, the only one allowed by UW at home this year, the Badgers’ defense continued to show improvement from last season.

“We’ve defended pretty well as a team,” senior defender Whitney Owusu said. “It feels good. We have a lot of pride in defending McClimon as our home. I think we’re just more in sync this year.”

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