Badgers play final 2 home games

Badgers play final 2 home games

first_imgWith only three regular season games remaining, it is do or die for the Wisconsin women’s soccer team. Currently, the Badgers sit in 10th place in the Big Ten — two spots away from a conference tournament berth.“We are in a must-win situation. In order to get into the Big Ten tournament, we have to win,” senior forward Sheri Ferron said. The Badgers’ chances of reaching the Big Ten tournament took a big hit last weekend with a pair of 2-1 losses. In both matches, against Michigan State and Michigan, Wisconsin gave up crucial goals in the closing minutes of regulation. “Overall we always play pretty hard,” senior midfielder Marissa Sarkesian said. “We definitely competed well, but there were some lapses where we had some mistakes which ultimately led to our losses.”This weekend, Wisconsin (5-9-1, 1-6 Big Ten) will host its final two home games of the season. Friday night, Iowa (7-5-4, 3-4 Big Ten) comes to town looking to solidify its position in the Big Ten tournament.Like Wisconsin, Iowa has been plagued by a lack of offensive output this season. Despite the team’s winning record, the Hawkeyes have been outscored 16-15 by their opponents.Offensively, the Hawkeyes are led by sophomore midfielder Jackie Kaeding with three goals and one assist, good for a team-high seven points.Like a broken record, the Badgers are still focusing on many of the same issues that have been lingering throughout the season. They still are trying to create more scoring chances on offense and need to improve their one-on-one defense.“[Last weekend] we were not consistent enough at all,” head coach Paula Wilkins said. “We are working on the details to prevent those mental lapses. We cannot afford to give up goals.”Sunday, Wisconsin will finish its home schedule with a match against the Minnesota Golden Gophers (7-7-1, 3-4 Big Ten). The Gophers have been led this season by the stellar play of freshman forward Katie Bethke. Through 15 games this season, Bethke has tallied five goals and eight assists. Minnesota also features another talented forward, junior Lindsey Schwartz. Schwartz has scored a team-high six goals to go along with four assists.Another aspect the Badgers have focused on this week is playing more upbeat. “We need to set the tempo a little bit faster — especially on our home field,” Wilkins said. “We have to initiate most of the play rather than reacting to what teams are doing to us as we have been doing for the past couple of games.”Despite the sense of urgency that comes along with the end of the season and Wisconsin’s current situation, the team continues to maintain the same 1-0 mentality it has all season.“We are still looking at it one game at a time,” Wilkins said. “The challenge I put out to the team, in building the culture of the team, is to make sure that we are competitive in every single game and to define what this program is about.”With its last three games against teams directly above them in the standings, Wisconsin still has a legitimate shot to control much of its own playoff destiny. “I definitely think [earning a spot in the tournament] is something we can do,” Ferron said. “On a good day, we can beat any team in the Big Ten. I believe wholeheartedly that we can do it.”Although Minnesota cannot be eliminated due to its host status, Iowa and Northwestern are both catchable at nine and eight points, respectively, if Wisconsin, who has three points, wins out. “We are definitely still alive in the Big Ten tournament,” Wilkins said. “Every game is extremely important with only three games remaining. There is always a chance. Our team is good when we play consistently for 90 minutes.”last_img

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