Two shots. That was the difference maker for Wisconsin (5-4-3 Big Ten, 8-8-4 overall) and Michigan (6-2-3, 10-4-4) in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten Tournament on Sunday afternoon in Ann Arbor, when the Wolverines dispatched the Badgers 4-2 in a shootout win that ended the Badgers’ tournament hopes.
In the second meeting between the two teams this season, thing went similarly as the first match, a thriller October 13 that ended in a 1-1 tie.
The Wolverines were able to get on the board first after a header by Nicky Waldeck off a pass from Reilly Martin and Jessica Heifetz in the 26th minute. Eleven minutes later, sophomore forward Emily Borgmann tied it up and notched her fifth goal of the season, assisted by freshman defender Payton Wesley and senior midfielder Rose Lavelle.
The game was a back and forth defensive battle between the two teams the entire 110 minutes, and was not lacking in emotion, as freshman defender Camryn Biegalski was handed a yellow card in the 63rd minute.
Statistically, the Badgers won this one fair and square, making Michigan goaltender Sarah Jackson work to stop seven of the eight shots she faced. Junior goaltender Caitlyn Clem made three saves for the Badgers. Overall the Badgers led 18-10 in shots, 8-4 in shots on goal, and 6-3 in corners.
Neither team was able to capitalize on any chances past the 37th minute, so the game went into overtime. When neither team found the back of the net, the game came down to a shootout.
The Badgers missed their first two penalty kicks, by senior midfielder Micaela Powers and senior defender Morgan Taylor, while Michigan’s Reilly Martin and Nicky Waldeck’s kicks beat Clem.
Wisconsin got some luck and made their last two penalty kicks on shots from Lavelle and Wesley, but Michigan was able to get past Clem two more times to put the nail in the coffin.
"It's disappointing to see our Big Ten run end in penalty kicks," head coach Paula Wilkins said to UWBadgers.com. "It's always a challenging and hard thing to do in soccer but it's kind of the reality of our sport. You just kind of wish that for us that we would have been able to finish the game in regulation or even overtime."
The Badgers season may not be done yet, as they could still earn an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament. Wilkins is still hoping this will be the case.
"If we get the opportunity to move on and we're going to prepare like we are moving on, this will be a learning game for us and hopefully will propel us into the NCAAs," Wilkins said.
On a lighter note for UW, Victoria Pickett has been named to Canada’s roster for the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Papua New Guinea.
Pickett, the 2015 Big Ten Freshman of the Year, is currently redshirting for the Badgers. Last season, the second-team All-Big Ten midfielder started every match she played in, and tallied eight points on two goals and four assists. The native of Barrie, Ontario, was named to the 21-member team earlier this week, and will play against some of the top young players from around the world.
Canada opens tournament play on November 13 against Spain, and will then play two more games: Nigeria November 16 and Japan November 20.