Badgers fall to Florida in NCAA Tournament as season finishes

Micaela Powers is among the many senior contributors that the Badgers will lose next season.

Image By: Brandon Moe

While the Wisconsin women’s soccer team (5-2-4 Big Ten, 9-5-8 overall) didn’t wind up with the result it was hoping for against the No. 9-seed Florida Gators (8-3-0 SEC, 17-5-1 overall), the Badgers will come back to Madison with nothing to hang their heads about.

After receiving an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament, taking care of Marquette at home in the first round and ultimately getting eliminated by the Florida Gators, Wisconsin’s season is officially over.

The Badgers took Florida into double overtime before the Gators put the game away on a goal in the 106th minute, courtesy of senior forward Brooke Sharp.

“It always hard to see the season end,” head coach Paula Wilkins told UWBadgers.com. “As a coach, I couldn’t have asked for anything more from them.”

Friday’s loss marked the first time UW lost in an overtime game this season—they were undefeated in the previous eight.

Senior midfielder Michaela Powers and freshman forward Dani Rhodes provided the scoring for Wisconsin. Powers’ goal came on a penalty kick in the 65th minute, while Rhodes’ was assisted by junior forward Sydney McGinnis in the 76th minute.

Redshirt junior goalkeeper Caitlyn Clem performed the only way she knows how in Friday’s contest. She made a career-high eight saves, two of which came on back-to-back shots from the Gators in the second overtime period.

The Badgers now say goodbye to an incredible senior class, all of whom contributed in their own way throughout the season. Powers, Rose Lavelle, Meghan Ledin, Holly Heckendorf, Morgan Taylor and Kylie Schwarz will all be leaving the program.

Wisconsin will not be left in bad hands, however. Clem was given Third-Team All-Big Ten honors while Rhodes and freshman midfielder Allie Winterfield were given All-Big Ten freshman honors.

Friday’s matchup with Florida was Wisconsin’s 10th second-round appearance in the NCAA Tournament. Earlier in the season, Wilkins won her 100th career match with Wisconsin while guiding senior midfielder Rose Lavelle to First-Team All-Big Ten honors.

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