Simply put, the No. 15 Wisconsin women’s soccer team (4-1-0 overall) is an early-season favorite to win the Big Ten conference this year.
The Badgers are one of just two Big Ten teams currently ranked, along with No. 7 Penn State, whom Wisconsin will play at University Park in Pennsylvania in the Big Ten opener.
The September 16th date will be the only regular season matchup between the two teams.
Wisconsin opened its season sweeping a three-game home stand, knocking down—and shutting out, at that—Notre Dame, South Dakota State and Loyola Chicago.
Senior goalkeeper Lauren Gunderson recorded nine saves over the stretch, including a season-high seven in a 1-0 win over the Fighting Irish.
The Badgers outscored their three opponents by a combined score of 10-0, and senior goalkeeper Olivia Hoff also recorded two saves in 60 minutes of action.
Wisconsin shared the load offensively, as not one player scored more than once in any of the three games.
No. 2 UCLA put out the flames to Wisconsin’s hot start, outshooting the Badgers 16-6 en route to a 2-0 victory in Los Angeles in late August.
The game was scoreless until the 77th minute, when Bruins sophomore forward Rosie White converted a cross from sophomore Caprice Dydasco.
The Badgers bounced back later on the road trip with a 4-2 win over Loyola Maramount despite being outshot by the Lions 12-9.
The Badgers will be in action at home this weekend at the McClimon Soccer Complex, where they will host Illinois State (3-1-2 overall) Sunday at 2:30 p.m.
Its record through three games is the clear-cut definition of average, but the Wisconsin men’s soccer team (1-1-1 overall) has shown promise this fall.
The Badgers opened their season on the road at Memphis, where they took down the Tigers 4-3 in dramatic fashion.
Trailing 2-0 at halftime, Wisconsin used a 4-1 scoring outburst in the second half to come away with the win.
The game’s first score didn’t come until the 76th minute, when freshman midfielder Drew Conner found the back of the net off a pass from sophomore defender AJ Cochran. Junior forward Chris Prince tied the game just two minutes later, and redshirt junior midfielder Derek Pitts capped a furious scoring barrage in the 84th minute to give the Badgers the lead.
However, Memphis answered just one minute later, tying the game with five minutes to play. In a second half filled with scoring, it was only fitting five minutes would be ample time for one side to net the game-winner.
Sophomore midfielder Jide Oluyedun did just that for the Badgers as he converted on a pass from junior midfielder Joey Tennyson in the game’s 89th minute.
The game’s combined seven goals would equal the output of Wisconsin’s next two contests.
The Badgers opened the Nike Portland Invitational squaring off against now-No. 21 Washington. The Huskies notched an early goal in both halves, but Wisconsin matched each score.
Despite outshooting its opponent 10-7, the Badgers could not respond to Washington senior defender Dylan Tucker-Gangnes’ go-ahead goal in the 72nd minute. The Huskies ended up coming out on top in the battle of UW schools, 3-2.
In a match against host team Portland, Wisconsin ended a scoreless game late in the second half off Prince’s penalty kick goal. However Portland senior forward Ricardo Carrillo netted an 85th-minute goal, and the match ended in a 1-1 draw.
Wisconsin’s season—filled so far with a second half comeback, a competitive match against a top-25 team and a draw on the road—will return to Madison this weekend.
The Badgers return to Madison to open their home slate against Florida International (3-0-0 overall) Friday at 7 p.m. and No. 13 Georgetown (4-0-0 overall) at 12 p.m. Each one of these matches will be held at UW’s McClimon Soccer Complex.
UWBadgers.com contributed to this report.