The Wisconsin Badgers (3-2-3) are riding a two-game win streak to open Big Ten play on Friday against No. 19 Ohio State (6-2-0) at the McClimon Soccer Complex. After taking down South Dakota State 1-0 in double overtime last week Friday, the Badgers traveled to Loyola on Saturday and shut out the Ramblers 2-0.
At Loyola, two players, freshman Grace Bahr and junior Sydney McGinnis, scored their first career goals as Badgers and added more momentum to an already hungry team right before the Big Ten season. Junior goaltender Caitlyn Clem notched her fourth shut-out of the season, and extended her streak of clean sheets to two.
Ohio State is coming off an extremely painful 3-0 home loss to No. 7 BYU on Monday. The Buckeyes had many chances to score and even outshot the Cougars, but BYU goaltender Hannah Clark proved too much to handle.
The Badgers had a similar loss to No.1 Stanford earlier in the season, so it will be interesting to see how these two teams will match up. Both Ohio State and Wisconsin have had prolific offensive production, often outshooting their opponents even if the score is not in their favor. Where Ohio State has the advantage on paper, however, is finding the back of the net.
The biggest key for either team to win is to shut down the opponent’s top-end senior player—in Ohio State’s case, that would be Badger midfielder Rose Lavelle, a member of the U.S. Women’s National Team. She is head and shoulders above the rest of the Badgers team in total offense, even though she does not lead the team in scoring. For Wisconsin, finding an answer to Buckeye forward Lindsay Agnew is imperative, as she has found the back of the net fairly consistently throughout the season so far, and the Canadian’s intricate shots should be a challenge for Clem.
The game starts at 7 p.m. at the McClimon Complex and includes a “student night” promotion for free scarves with a valid Wiscard. It will also be televised on BTN Plus.