Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Women’s Soccer: Wisconsin fails to score in home regular season finale, drops tight matchup

Badgers lose momentum in second half, falter to quality Buckeyes group
Julien Payen

The No. 12 ranked University of Wisconsin women’s soccer team hosted Ohio State University on Sunday to close out their home regular season schedule. Sitting comfortably in second place in the Big Ten standings, UW had a chance to gain ground on current first place program Penn State University before their matchup against the Nittany Lions Oct. 22.

Goalkeeper Erin McKinney returned from her absence last week due to a red card assessed to her the game prior. Unfortunately for the Badgers, goals and points leader Emma Jaskaniec remained out. She suffered what appeared to be a concussion against Northwestern University Oct. 5 after a ball ricocheted off an opponent back at her.

The Buckeyes’ high powered offense (fifth in the Big Ten in shots and shots on goal per game, 1.93 goals per game) was tested by the equally impressive Badgers’ defense (fourth fewest goals allowed per game at 0.67).


Those two teams’ strengths made a hotly contested first half. Neither team was able to seize control.

The Badgers took three shots and had four corner kicks. Meanwhile, the Buckeyes took two shots with four corner kicks of their own.

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Playing up and tight to the Ohio State goal for much of the first half, UW looked to have worn their opponents out. The Buckeyes made several sloppy passes and did not pursue on offense the way they did in the early stages of the game.

Halftime, once again, played a crucial role. The Badgers have struggled recently coming out of the break. In each of their last two games, against Northwestern and the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, the Badgers’ defense looked beatable after dominant first halves.

The Buckeyes continued that trend. They would take another five shots, with two of them being on goal.

Kailyn Dudukovich, third in the Big Ten in goals with nine, had a shot blocked in the 50th minute. It came after a soaring kick from a Buckeye defender, allowing Dudukovich to beat the Badgers to the ball and have a clear shot. McKinney tipped it before Hailey Baumann cleared.

Just nine minutes later, forward/midfielder Amanda Schlueter broke free on a sidestep before launching the ball ahead to Dudukovich. This time Dudukovich went low, rolling it into the left corner of the net in what would prove to be the game-winning goal.

The next 31 minutes of play were characterized by substitutions by head coach Paula Wilkins and unceasing energy from Ohio State.

Wilkins sparsely makes substitutions. On Sunday though, she made nine of them in the second half alone. After a couple in the 61st and 66th minutes, she looked to be telling her players to “push the tempo” to combat the Buckeyes.

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Despite their infusions of fresh legs, the cardinal and white were unable to gain momentum. Their best chance to score came on a shot from Maddie Ishaug in the 67th minute. She rocketed one from behind the penalty area, but it couldn’t get past goalkeeper Molly Pritchard’s diving block.

Though they ended the first half in lethargic fashion, the Buckeyes brought vigor in the second.

Senior forward Emma Sears in particular, a two-time All-Big Ten second teamer, displayed great hustle. Multiple times she worked around a Badger defender to keep the ball inbounds, also sprinting up the sideline to catch up to a deep pass.

The last opportunity UW had to create momentum was shut down by an offsides penalty in the 84th minute. Ashley Martinez flagged down a pass into the left corner looking to pass or curl around the left of the goal. Alas, the referee blew the whistle to halt the play, eventually leading to Ohio State finishing as 1–0 victors.

Two away games remain on the schedule for the Badgers — one at Maryland University and one at No. 6 Penn State. They’ll look to bounce back before the Big Ten Tournament begins Oct. 29.

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