It’s been a long season for the Wisconsin Badgers’ women’s soccer team (4-2-4 Big Ten, 7-4-7 overall) filled with ups and downs, wins, losses, ties and overtime matches—eight, to be exact. Wisconsin is hoping it can deliver one last victory on fan appreciation night in the Badgers’ final regular season match of the year against Rutgers (4-1-5, 9-2-6).
The Badgers most recently battled to a 0-0 double-overtime draw with the Illinois Fighting Illini down in Champaign, Ill., extending their unbeaten streak to six games.
The Badgers will stick to their guns against Rutgers, which sits just one point ahead of Wisconsin in the Big Ten standings. A victory for UW would vaunt it ahead of the Scarlet Knights into the top five of the conference.
The Badgers will be relying on redshirt junior goalkeeper Caitlyn Clem to do what she has done so well all season: compete. Clem put up her eighth shutout of the year versus Illinois, stopping two shots on goal.
On offense, expect the same formula that has been keeping Wisconsin in every game it plays: allow the stars to shine. Senior midfielder Michaela Powers leads the team in points, with four goals, five assists and eleven shots on goal. Sophomore forward Emily Borgmann is in second with four goals, two assists and ten shots on goal.
The Badgers’ ace-in-the-hole? Senior midfielder Rose Lavelle, who is fourth on the team in points, but leads Wisconsin with 26 shots on goal. Rutgers defenders will have their hands full trying to contain Powers, Borgmann and freshman forward Dani Rhodes, all while focusing the bulk of their attention on Lavelle.
The Badgers’ focus will gravitate toward senior Rutgers forward Madison Tiernan, who leads the Scarlet Knights with 21 points. Three of her eight goals on the season have been game-winners.
Adding to the excitement of two evenly-matched teams going at it is the fact it is “fan appreciation night” for Wisconsin. There will be several events to keep fans involved, as well as reduced ticket prices.
The first whistle will be blown at 7 p.m. at the McClimon Complex on Wednesday, Oct. 26. Fans not in attendance can watch the game on BTN Plus.