After 220 minutes of play in three days, the Wisconsin Badgers women’s soccer team (2-1-3 Big Ten, 8-2-3 overall) could not settle the score in their two home games as both games resulted in 0-0 draws that were not dull despite the scoreline.
Wisconsin faced off with the Rutgers Scarlet Knights (3-0-2 Big Ten, 7-1-4 overall) Friday afternoon after the game was postponed from Thursday night. The two teams came into the game tied for second place in the Big Ten standings, and high-level play from both sides justified their place.
Junior goalkeeper Jordyn Bloomer had yet another good performance for UW with three saves to earn the clean sheet. The game was even offensively as the Badgers barely outshot the Scarlet Knights seven to six, although the Knights managed three shots on goal to the Badgers' one.
Head coach Paula Wilkins was satisfied with the defensive effort — especially considering they shut down Rutgers sophomore forward Amirah Ali — but wished the Badgers could’ve gotten a better result.
“I wish we were able to control the tempo of the game a little more, and that's something we've talked about at halftime and also at the end of the game,” Wilkins said to uwbadgers.com. “I think that's something we'll learn from tonight."
Just under two days later, the Badgers faced the struggling Maryland Terrapins (1-3-1 Big Ten, 3-6-4 overall) but were unable to celebrate senior day as the game was again deadlocked. This game was quite different from the previous contest as the Badgers looked to be the better team for a majority of the game.
Senior midfielder Victoria Pickett looked lethal in the midfield, creating space and handling the ball with a pace no Terrapin player could match. Every time Pickett had possession, she would slice through the Maryland defense and bring the ball into a dangerous area inside or near the box.
Maryland played very physically throughout the game, with every opportunity in the first half being met with a timely challenge or clearance from a defender to keep any Badgers from getting a clean shot on goal. In the first half, the Badgers were dominant in every aspect of the game, with numerous dangerous crosses into the box, but they ended up with nothing to show for it. Wisconsin’s pressure was summed up by earning seven corner kicks while the Terps didn’t have any.
The second half, however, had a much different look to it than the first, with Maryland coming out of the gates with a renewed energy that they were previously lacking.
Sophomore forward Hope Lewandoski, who came on for injured junior midfielder Darby Moore, was dangerous for the Terrapins throughout the game, including a 1-on-1 opportunity that was masterfully saved by the UW’s keeper Bloomer. The Hartland, Wisconsin native had a very active game, ranging around and outside the box to limit Terrapin opportunities, but this save was her best on the night as she stopped Maryland’s best chance.
After a back and forth start to the second half, play slowed down until the end of the second half. In the final minute Maryland had a strong look on goal followed by a Badger corner that nearly found an attacker in the box as the final seconds ticked off.
In the overtime periods, the Badgers had their best chance at a goal, with a chip from Dani Rhodes toward the far post that went just wide.
The ball somehow inched past the post and was just out of the reach of senior forward Emily Borgmann.
With these two long games in three days the Badgers are looking forward to a four-day rest before starting a road trip against the Indiana Hoosiers on Friday.