The Wisconsin Badgers (3-2-5 Big Ten, 6-2-10 overall) traveled to Champaign, Ill., Saturday to take on Illinois (4-4-2, 7-7-5) in a hard-fought road match that ended in a double-overtime, scoreless tie.
The draw extended the Badgers' unbeaten streak to six games.
This defensive battle with 20 extra minutes was the eighth overtime game the Badgers have played this season, and it did not disappoint head coach Paula Wilkins.
"I was really proud with our team's effort," Wilkins said. "The last six games we've played I thought that everything I've asked them to do they've done and they've done their best."
Playing against an Illinois team that was fighting to extend its season on Senior Night, the Badgers put up a stellar effort, but not quite enough to best Illini goalkeeper Claire Wheatley. She collected four saves on the night, including a jump save on an impressive shot from UW sophomore forward Emily Borgmann with a minute left in the second overtime.
Wisconsin redshirt junior netminder Caitlyn Clem was equally impressive, notching her eighth shutout of the season and stopping both of the shots she faced.
Senior midfielder Micaela Powers tallied three shots to lead the team as the Badgers won the game statistically, leading 12-7 in shots, 4-2 in shots on goal and 10-6 in corner kicks.
With the regular season winding down, Wilkins feels she can take pride in her team’s effort.
"They've gotten better each time and we're just looking to bring that same effort and same mentality that we've had for the last couple games,” Wilkins said. “Like I said, they're going to put everything out there, do their best, and I truly believe they are, and I'm excited for the game on Wednesday.”
The Badgers close out regular-season play Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. at McClimon Soccer Complex with a home game against the Rutgers.