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Sunday, September 26, 2021
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Badgers draw stalemate, stay unbeaten in Big Ten play

The No. 10 Wisconsin Badgers (6-0-1 Big Ten, 10-2-2 overall) continued their undefeated start to Big Ten play, drawing 2-2 with the Iowa Hawkeyes (5-3-1 Big Ten, 13-3-1 overall) after two overtime periods. 

In the opening spell of the match, the Badgers looked dangerous attacking through the wide areas. A perfect cross from Dani Rhodes was met by the head of junior forward Cameron Murtha, but the finish flew off target and out for a goal kick.

The next time Murtha got an opportunity however, she made no mistake. A cross from senior defender Cameron Biegalski was initially pushed away by Iowa goalkeeper Claire Graves, but senior forward Dani Rhodes found the deflection, and redirected the ball towards goal, into the path of Murtha who poked in her 4th goal of the season. 

The Badgers’ lead was short-lived though, as Iowa’s Gianna Gourley beat Badger senior goalkeeper Jordan Bloomer in the 19th minute, becoming only the second player to score on Bloomer in Big Ten play this season.  

The rest of the half produced only one shot on target between the two sides, an effort from junior forward Lauren Rice which Claire Graves kept out, leaving the score at 1-1 coming into halftime. 

The game turned on its head in the 53rd minute when a handball was called in the Wisconsin 18-yard box, giving Iowa an opportunity to take the lead. Hawkeye midfielder Natalie Winters stepped up to the penalty spot and tucked the ball into the bottom left corner, beating an outstretched Jordan Bloomer. 

Incredibly, this was the first time in Big Ten play this season that the Badgers trailed.

In the 71st minute, the Badgers were awarded a penalty kick due to a handball in the box, just as the Hawkeyes were 20 minutes earlier. Then, in a similar fashion as Natalie Winters did, Dani Rhodes coolly converted her spot kick. 

For the remaining minutes, each side pressed on in search of a winning goal. 

In the dying moments of the regulation, Dani Rhodes made a spectacular run setting up Cameron Murtha in the box, but Murtha was unable to put the game away. Still tied at the final buzzer, the Badgers entered overtime for the sixth time this season. 

In the extra periods, the Hawkeyes played on the front foot, accumulating 4 shots while the Badgers had none. Thankfully, Jordan Bloomer saved all three that were on frame, keeping the score at 2-2 until the second overtime ended. 

“It is what it is,” Rhodes said after the game, ”we wish we would’ve won ... but in the end we’re still undefeated in the Big Ten,”

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The Badgers will look to stay on top of the Big Ten standings as they host the Nebraska Cornhuskers (3-4-2 Big Ten, 4-8-4 overall) this Sunday. 

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