The Wisconsin Badgers (1-2-1 Big Ten, 4-4-4 overall) went on their first conference road trip of the season this past weekend, defeating Purdue (1-2-0, 3-6-0) and falling to Indiana (2-2-0, 5-6-1).
Saturday, the Badgers traveled to West Lafayette, Ind., to take on the Boilermakers, who scored one goal in the first half of the game. Once halftime rolled around, it was all Badgers, thanks to a three-goal rampage over ten minutes by junior forward Sydney McGinnis, freshman defensemen Payton Wesley and sophomore forward Steph Fabry.
Wesley had her most impressive game to date, leading the team with one goal and one assist, both of which were the first of her Badger career.
After starting forward Emily Borgmann was injured, head coach Paula Wilkins knew she had to find another plan of attack, and she praised her players for stepping up.
"We had an injury with [Borgmann] so we talked about the next person who can come in and step up and I think [Fabry] and [Wesley] being able to do that was great and what we needed," Wilkins said. "I think that the first goal gave us confidence to keep doing the right things and to produce another goal and obviously another goal to put the game away."
Redshirt junior goaltender Caitlyn Clem made two saves on the night, while Purdue’s Jordan Ginther had nine.
The trio of senior midfielder Rose Lavelle, McGinnis, and senior midfielder Micaela Powers led the team in shots, recording three apiece. Lavelle and McGinnis also led the team with three shots on goal each.
Wilkins had a glowing review for her team after the game.
"I think any time you're able to get a win on the road against Purdue or any Big Ten team helps your confidence a little bit," Wilkins said.
Sunday afternoon, the Badgers headed to Bloomington, Ind., to face Indiana. Borgmann, recovered from her injury, got things started right away, scoring a goal that was assisted by junior midfielder Alexis Tye and Powers in the seventh minute.
After that, the Hoosiers scored two unanswered goals to end the first half of play, leaving the Badgers trailing 2-1.
In the 50th minute, Lavelle tied the game by shooting one into the lower right of the net from the 18-yard box. She was assisted by Fabry.
The dagger for the Hoosiers came in the 78th minute, when Cassidy Blacha scored on a rebound shot that deflected into the net, give Indiana a lead it wouldn’t relinquish.
Clem ended the game with four saves, while Indiana’s Sarah L’Hommedieu recorded one.
"The Big Ten is not easy, we have to be better prepared," Wilkins said. "I talked to the team about that, even from a physical side and getting good sleep, we played two games in three days in the heat and conditions we play in, we have to be better about that. We got a little tired and got off our game plan a little bit so we have to get back to our disciplined ways."
The Badgers hit the road again for a game against Minnesota Friday at 5:30pm. The match will be televised on BTN Plus.