The No. 15 Wisconsin Badgers women’s soccer team (2-1-0) started the season with a difficult two-game road trip in Florida, and returned home with a victory over UCF (0-1-1) and a hard-fought overtime loss against No. 1 rated Florida State (2-1-0).
The Badgers are looking to build on a fantastic 2018 season, finishing the year as the No. 23 team in the country with a record of 14-4-4. The Badgers continued with a thrilling NCAA tournament run that included a historic 6-0 win over Hofstra in the round of 32, when then junior forward Dani Rhodes put away four goals. While the Badgers looked unstoppable, their run ended against the immovable force that is Stanford soccer. The Badgers fought hard against the Cardinals, losing 1-0 in a nail-biter of a game against a Stanford team whose only loss of the season would come later on in the semifinals against the tournament champions Florida State.
The Badgers have the opportunity to build off of this fantastic season with midfield standout Victoria Pickett returning to the team, midfielder Alexis Tye is the only starter from last season not returning to the pitch.
With their first home game of the season, the Badgers faced in state rivals Marquette (0-3-0). Coming into the game the Badgers looked to continue their tradition of dominance over the Golden Eagles, having not lost the matchup since 2012. This dominance continued throughout the game despite it taking an overtime period for the Badgers to emerge victorious. Outshooting Marquette 18-1 and holding an 8-1 corner lead, it felt more like a matter of when the Badgers would score than if the Badgers would score.
It took just over two minutes of overtime play before junior forward Lauren Rice would curl in a breathtaking shot from just inside the top right corner of the box to end the action. Off of an early overtime corner kick, redshirt junior defender Claire Shea slotted a ground pass to senior forward Dani Rhodes inside the box. Rhodes continued the play with a quick one-touch pass to Rice who delivered the game winner, already the sixth of her career. “We always want to win against Marquette,” said Rice after the game, and her incredible bit of skill made sure of that.