Badgers, Panthers battle for state supremacy

first_imgGREGORY DIXON/Herald photoWhen the Wisconsin Badgers face off against an in-state opponent, regardless of the sport, it always seems to bring out the best in everybody as they try to prove their team is the best in the state.As the University of Wisconsin women’s soccer team prepares to take on UW-Milwaukee(3-3-0) Friday night at the McClimon Soccer Complex, they are working hard in hopes of securing a victory over their in-state foe.”UW-Milwaukee is definitely a big rival for us,” junior forward Taylor Walsh said. “It is always a big goal of ours to be the best team in our state.”Coming into Friday’s game against the Panthers, the Badgers (3-2-1) hope to carry over the success they had on the road last weekend against Northern Arizona. Last Sunday, Wisconsin ended the Lumberjacks’ five-game unbeaten streak and handed them their first loss of the season. In addition, the Badgers’ lone goal, scored by junior forward Tricia Krombach in the eighth minute, snapped the 513:13 shutout streak of NAU goalkeeper Elizabeth Winkelblech. “It put our team in the mentality that we can overcome obstacles that are set in our way,” Krombach said. “The fact that we can come in and show them what a Big Ten powerhouse can be like is really good for our team.”In addition to beating Northern Arizona, the Badgers fought hard and played strong against a tough Brigham Young team despite losing 1-0. Like NAU, the Cougars of BYU came into the matchup undefeated, allowing zero goals in four previous games.The Cougar defense continued its strong play as the Badgers managed only two shots on goal from sophomores Whitney Owusu and Stephanie Krombach. Although they didn’t come away with a victory against the Cougars, the match was not a total loss for the team.”We actually played really well against [BYU] and gave them a good challenge,” forward Stephanie Krombach said. “Even when we lost to BYU it still [made] our team better and brought us closer to the next level.”Further, the road trip as a whole showed marked improvement from the Badgers’ previous road trip Aug. 25-Sept. 2. On that trip, the Badgers battled Vanderbilt to a scoreless tie and lost 3-1 to the Georgia Bulldogs. Additionally, UW was outshot 46-13 by their opponents from the SEC.For Wisconsin, improvement has come day-to-day and week-to-week as they continue to develop as a team. Much of the Badgers’ continued improvement can be credited to a desire to learn and a great coach who has a lot to offer.”[They are] so willing to learn and put forth the effort and battle for stuff,” head coach Paula Wilkins said. “I see growth in them in every practice and every game.””It is more of a learning atmosphere; Paula has a lot to teach, and she teaches us new things every day,” Walsh said. “It is my fourth year, and I think I have learned more this year than I ever have.”As Wisconsin prepares for Friday’s game against UW-Milwaukee, they are working on a few things in practice that they believe will help them continue to improve as a team.”We want to be able to keep possession a little bit more, work on our shape in the back and to solidify some stuff that we want to do pressure-wise defensively,” Wilkins said. “We are [also] focusing on being able to get the ball and numbers in the offensive third.”Regarding the game against the Panthers, the Badgers will be looking for a strong team effort as they hope to come away with the victory.”Everybody kind of just needs to step it up this Friday,” Walsh said. “I hope everyone [has an impact],” Coach Wilkins added. “I think Taylor is always a major threat up front, Krista [Liskevych] and Marissa Sarkesian have come through in the midfield and become a little more dangerous, and obviously Tricia [Krombach] has added an assist and a goal, so hopefully that will continue.”last_img

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