Badgers roll past Indiana despite Lavelle's absence
For their first Big Ten conference game on their home turf, the Badgers dominated Indiana 3-0, cheered on by a crowd of all ages.
“We had a tough two weeks on the road. Being gone is never easy,” senior midfielder McKenna Meuer said. “[But tonight] we got to be in our own locker room, do our normal routine, warm-up on our own field and have our own fans. And the atmosphere—it felt like home.”
Wisconsin (4-4-3, 1-1-1 Big Ten) dictated gameplay for the majority of the match, but especially during the first half, overwhelming the Hoosiers (3-4-4, 0-1-2 Big Ten) with three goals in an explosive 28-minute period despite missing junior forward and offensive leader Rose Lavelle.
Lavelle, a 2015 MAC Hermann Trophy candidate and ranked No. 2 in college soccer by Top Drawer Soccer, was out for the game.
Beginning in the 16th minute, senior midfielder Kinley McNicoll fired a shot from outside the corner of the 18-yard box, quickly finding the back of the net with Indiana redshirt senior goalkeeper Sarah Stone unable to make the save. It was McNicoll’s first goal of the season.
Four minutes later, Meuer scored, finding the back of the net with a header, converting off of a free kick awarded to junior defender Kylie Schwarz.
In a final charge forward just before halftime, freshman forward Steph Fabry broke through with a third goal, capitalizing on a through ball by freshman midfielder Victoria Pickett.
At the start of the second half, the Hoosiers pressed the Wisconsin defense, with Indiana freshman forward Maya Piper heading the ball on frame, but just over the crossbar in the 51st minute. However, despite the charge from the Hoosiers offense, the back defensive line, led by redshirt sophomore goalkeeper Caitlyn Clem, thwarted all goal attempts to maintain the clean sheet.
It was Clem’s first shutout at home, and she credited the whole team for the effort.
“It feels really great. It’s something we’ve been lacking this season. I just thank my back line,” Clem said. “They worked hard for me and made sure I didn’t have to touch the ball that much.”
While the Badgers had several more chances in the second half, they were unable to find the back of the net for a fourth goal. Statistically, Wisconsin had 21 shots to Indiana’s 7, and won 4 corner kicks to Indiana’s 0.
“We did our job in the second half in not giving up a goal,” Meuer said. “But I think that we could’ve had a little bit better of an overall performance … putting together a strong first half and second half performance with no lapses will be our biggest challenge for Sunday.”
Wisconsin head coach Paula Wilkins expressed overall satisfaction in the team’s performance.
“We had a bunch of different people to score which is even better,” Wilkins said. “Obviously we like to win .. but sometimes when teams have three goals they lapse defensively. [And] we didn’t. So we want to keep building on that.”Subscribe to The Daily Cardinal Newsletter