The No. 23 Wisconsin women’s soccer team (7-4-0 overall, 1-3-0 Big Ten) opened up a two-game road trip Thursday evening as it faced off against Minnesota (6-6-0 overall, 2-2-0 Big Ten).
After coming off a split of Big Ten conference games last weekend against Michigan State and Michigan, the Badgers looked to even up their conference record against a struggling Minnesota team. Wisconsin got on the board in the 22nd minute as sophomore forward Cara Walls found the back of the net in the midst of a scramble in the box.
The Badgers managed to shut down standout Gopher sophomore forward Taylor Uhl in the first half. She ranked first in the country in points per game, goals per game, and total goals entering Thursday’s match. Uhl is also second in total points only to Adriana Lucar of Central Arkansas.
Wisconsin added to its lead when junior midfielder Monica Lam-Feist tallied a goal early in the second half off a corner kick deflection.
Despite Minnesota’s dismal first half, it began to clog up the middle for the Badgers, preventing them from making any runs towards the box. The Gophers finally put the ball in the net in the 68th minute as senior midfielder Allie Phillips blasted the ball past Badgers' redshirt senior goalkeeper Lauren Gunderson.
Minnesota continued to make a surge late in the second half, scoring two more goals in the last 16 minutes of the match. Although Wisconsin contained Uhl in the first half, she managed to even up the scoring just six minutes after Phillips’ goal.
It looked as if the game would head into overtime as the clock reached the 87 minute mark, but Gunderson made an effort at a challenge and failed, leaving the net open for Minnesota sophomore defender Taylor Wodnick to easily tap the ball in. The goal capped off a remarkable comeback for the Gophers.
Wisconsin is 4-0-0 when outshooting opponents this year but was unable to create many
scoring chances in the second half against the Minnesota defense, which surrendered just eight shots against the Badgers. Much of the Gophers’ success in the second half can be credited to their ability to challenge Gunderson for 11 shots.
Wisconsin will look to rebound on Sunday at noon when it travels to Ohio State to battle the Buckeyes in another important Big Ten conference game.