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The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Badgers get ‘sweet’ win over UCF

The Wisconsin women\’s soccer team celebrates after beating UCF and advancing to the Sweet 16.[/media-credit]

Win and advance.

That’s the advice Bo Ryan gave the Wisconsin women’s soccer team last week, and the Badgers did just that this weekend, defeating Arizona State and Central Florida to move on to the Sweet 16 next weekend in Boston.

Both games were hard-fought thrillers, and both ended with the host Badgers coming out on top. And both featured big shots off the foot of junior Roxanne Carlson.


“Paula (Wilkins) gave me an opportunity, and I just tried my best,” Carlson said. “It’s just an unreal situation. It kind of didn’t even feel like it went in.”

In a second-round matchup Sunday with third-seeded UCF, the Badgers played what Wilkins, their head coach, considered perhaps their most complete game of the season, especially on the defensive end.

The two teams battled hard for much of the first half without either team taking an advantage on the scoreboard. Until the 45th minute, that is.

Forward Laurie Nosbusch beat her defender with the ball and found a streaking Carlson on the left side of the box. Carlson then scored near post past the UCF goaltender with just 21 seconds remaining in the first half.

“I just got around the corner, and I’m just looking for somebody to pass the ball to,” Nosbusch said. “I kind of see the first run, and then I see a little flash of red coming in out of the top of the box; I played it across — it got through and she just had a great finish: left foot, laces, on the ground, first time. That was a big-time finish.”

Carlson’s goal — her first as a Badger — put UW on top 1-0 and gave her team plenty of momentum heading into the break.

But just as they did for most of the first half, both teams came out evenly matched in the second period, with both defenses stopping their opponent’s scoring chances.

UCF goalkeeper Aline Reis impressed when the Wisconsin attack managed to get a shot on goal, stopping all but the one goal on the day. Reis, a native of Brazil, stands at just 5-foot-3, but used her excellent leaping and diving ability to stop several would-be goals.

Her counterpart, UW goalkeeper Michele Dalton, played an impressive game as well, despite finishing with just two official saves on the stat sheet, as her teammates kept the Knights from getting many shots on goal in the game.

“Shots on goal are always difficult to save, but crosses are just as bad,” Dalton said. “You’re kind of up in the air, not knowing what’s going on around you.”

As the Badgers opened the tournament Friday night against Arizona State, they overcame an equally challenging battle, defeating the Sun Devils in a shootout.

Wisconsin and ASU were evenly matched, but it took less than two minutes for the Badgers to get going in their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2005.

On an inbounds play near the right corner, freshman Lindsey Johnson made a perfect serve on a flip toss, which bounced to the edge of the 6-yard box, where sophomore midfielder Leigh Williams put it away to the far corner of the net for the early 1-0 lead.

“It panicked me to be honest,” Wilkins said. “We don’t normally score that early. I thought there was a lot of game to be played, and I knew the wind would make a big difference in the second half.”

It’s unclear if it was the wind that made the difference, but the Sun Devils did strike back in the second half.

Freshman midfielder Aissa Sanchez evened the score for Arizona State, drilling a shot near the top of the box into the right side of the net past Dalton. The goal came in the 72nd minute and kept the Sun Devils tournament hopes alive a little bit longer.

The teams played to a 1-1 tie over the final 38 minutes, including two 10-minute overtime periods, which led to a best-of-five shootout on the south end of the field.

Wisconsin shot first, and sophomore midfielder Erin Jacobsen’s shot was saved by ASU keeper Katie Cochran, who replaced starter Alyssa Gillmore after 110 minutes.

“We put Katie in for the PK’s because she’s very good at them and we knew she’d get at least one,” ASU head coach Kevin Boyd said. “It’s up to the shooters to put the other five away, and we just didn’t do it. We’ve been practicing them this week, but we could practice a thousand of them. … It’s not our strength as it turns out.”

Both teams went on to put away their next three shots, making it 3-3 with three shots remaining: two for the Sun Devils and one for the Badgers.

Dalton stepped up at that point, grabbing a save on the shot from forward Courtney Tinnin. With the teams still tied, Carlson put away her try to the right side of the net, putting the pressure on ASU midfielder Jill Shoquist.

The sophomore’s attempt was stopped by Dalton, sending the crowd of 1,038 into a frenzy as students and teammates alike mobbed the Wisconsin keeper.

“There’s no word to describe it. What I was thinking at that moment and what I’m feeling right now — it’s surreal,” Dalton said. “Paula talks about living in the moment and that was a moment I will never forget, ever. It was such an emotional thing, and I’m glad we won.”

With a pair of home victories in the first two rounds, Wisconsin is the only Big Ten team remaining in the NCAA Tournament field. The Badgers are headed to Boston next weekend, where they will take on the Boston College Eagles.

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