Friday night the Wisconsin Badgers Women’s soccer team (1-3-1 Big Ten, 7-4-1 overall) will look to rebound after a road trip loss to Minnesota, and tie to Ohio State. They will take on Nebraska (2-3-0 , 5-7-1) at 7:00 at the McClimon Soccer Complex.
The Badgers will enjoy their first home match this season since their loss to No. 23 Michigan on September 21st. After a stretch of physically draining road matches, the home field advantage will undoubtedly play in favor of the Badgers. “Its important for these guys to be at home, be in front of a home crowd, get some sleep, and get their feet back underneath them physically,” head coach Paula Wilkins said.
This game will mark the first match up between the Badgers and Cornhuskers in Madison since Nebraska became a member of the Big Ten conference last season. As for the all-time series, the Cornhuskers lead 1-2-1.
“Every team in the Big Ten plays a little differently, so we made little adjustments to what they’re going to do well,” Wilkins said. “Obviously, they have a really dominant goal scorer up front, but they’re really well organized, and we’re going to be really careful in transition.” Wilkins is referring to Nebraska stand out forward, Mayme Conroy. Conroy leads the team with eight goals thus far this season. “We’re just going to try to stay in front of the ball,” senior defender Lindsey Johnson said in regards to the Nebraska offense.
The Badgers must reduce unforced errors that have proven to hurt them in recent games. “We need to be able to move the ball well, keep possession, and limit the dangerous balls we give away in dangerous areas,” said coach Wilkins. “We’ve worked on playing more as a team, playing quicker, and trying to find our forwards quicker,” mentioned Johnson.
As for the Badgers offense, they will be looking to end a minor scoring drought. The team has focused this week in practice to improve their attack. “We went back to basics. We need to create more chances on net and be more dangerous,” senior midfielder Monica Lam-Feist said. “We want to be more positive in the final third to get more chances.”
The Badgers are currently one spot behind the Cornhuskers, at tenth place, and will be looking to pass them up Friday night.
Friday’s matchup is a must win for the Badgers to stay competitive in the conference rankings. “It’s going to be important, especially with the crowd that we’ve had this season. Any game in the big ten is an important one,” Wilkins said.