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The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


UW travels to Indiana for weekend series

Freshman midfielder Kinley McNicoll has started all 16 matches for the Badgers and is tied for first on the team in assists (5).[/media-credit]

With a bid to the Big Ten Tournament and the NCAA Tournament in the balance, the UW women’s soccer team heads south for a weekend series in Indiana.

After earning two wins last weekend against Big Ten opponents, Wisconsin (10-5-1, 3-4-1 Big Ten) moved up four spots to the No. 6 position in the conference.

As of right now, the Badgers would qualify for the Big Ten Tournament, with the top eight teams in the conference getting a bid. Wisconsin, which is ranked 40th in the NCAA, is also eligible for the NCAA Women’s Soccer Tournament at this time, with the top 64 teams making the tournament.


Senior defender and team captain Lindsey Johnson said she knows Wisconsin’s last three games are crucial.

“We know we have to win these next games in order to make sure that we are into the NCAAs and the Big Ten Tournament,” Johnson said. “That’s in the back of all of our heads, so we are just trying to get there and finish all of these games one game at a time.”

Wisconsin will travel to Indiana Friday to take on Purdue (7-7-2, 2-5-1), which is second to last in the conference standings and has not won a game in October.

The Badgers’ defense looks to continue its solid play of late against a Boilermaker offensive attack that has failed to score in its last three games. That bodes well for UW’s defense, which has held opposing teams to just two goals in the last three games.

Johnson said she is pleased with the way her defensive unit has been playing and expects the defensive squad to continue playing well.

“I think we’ve really just been on,” Johnson said. “We’ve been working on trying to find forwards deep, playing as a unit and sticking together so we always have each other’s back and playing the ball has really been helping us too.”

Something that has been aiding the defense in the past month is head coach Paula Wilkins’ strategy to go with a platoon at the goalkeeper position, deciding who to start based on matchups.

Wilkins has been switching between senior Lauren Gunderson, who began the year as Wisconsin’s starting goalkeeper, and junior Genevieve Richard, who has allowed only four goals in her four starts.

Wilkins said she has not yet decided who will start at goal for the Badgers Friday and will make her decision based on the way the two keepers practice leading up to the match.

“[Who starts] is going to be based on training this week,” Wilkins said. “I think Lauren Gunderson and Gen have done a great job and made it really hard for us. I think they have provided us with really good goalkeeping so again it’s going to go back to training.”

UW’s offense has been stepping up as well lately, scoring two goals in each of its last four games.

Sophomore forward Cara Walls has been a big part of the Wisconsin attack recently, scoring three goals in two games over the weekend, giving her a team-high eight goals on the season.

Walls said the pressure the offense has been able to produce lately is a big part of the team’s success.

“[The offense has been] going together,” Walls said. “We’ve been getting people up and attacking with numbers, so if it beats me there Paige (Adams) is behind me. I think just getting a larger number of people up and forward.”

Walls and the Badgers’ offensive attack look to continue their success against a Purdue defense that has allowed six goals in its last three games.

Wisconsin will head to Bloomington, Ind. Sunday where they will match up with Indiana (8-7-1, 3-5-0),, which is ranked eighth in the Big Ten.

IU is riding a two-game winning streak and has won three out of its last four games.

The Hoosiers bring an offensive attack that has scored eight goals in its last four games. The unit is led by junior midfielder Lisa Nouanesengsy, who has seven goals and three assists on the season.

Wilkins said she is focused on the Purdue game but expects a battle with Indiana Sunday.

“We want to focus on Purdue,” Wilkins said. “I think both (Purdue and Indiana) are very good. They’ve had some good games and have been close in every single game in the Big Ten, so it’s going to be challenging.”

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