His quotes coming out of Rome last year were pretty startling.
When the Wisconsin women's hockey team faced off against Wayne State last Friday, there was one player on the Badger bench who was probably the most anxious to get back out on the ice. And when she did, freshman forward Brianna Decker made the most of it.
We've just crossed the hump of the NFL season. After figuring out where teams were in the first half of the season, most have now found their identity and are either positioning themselves for the playoffs, a wild card race or a draft pick. Each and every NFL season presents its unique aspects, so here is what I've thought of the first half or so of the year.
Head coach Bret Bielema only expressed satisfaction during his weekly press conference Monday. His team is fresh off a performance against Michigan that showed both the offensive and defensive might of the Wisconsin football team. He also expressed excitement for what the remainder of the 2009 season holds for his team.
This weekend, I will be in the press box at Ryan Field in Evanston, Ill., watching the Badgers take on Northwestern. Once the game and the interviews are over, I'll blast out of Illinois and back to Madison, praying to make it home in time to catch the end of a game halfway across the country.
After finishing the regular season with a 9-5-5 record overall and a third place finish in the Big Ten, the Wisconsin women's soccer team was expecting an NCAA tournament bid. However, it is hard to say if anyone predicted the Badgers would win their first two games of the tournament.
After losing the top scorer from last year, many expected players like junior forward Jon Leuer to step forward and pick up the slack for Wisconsin. If Sunday night is any indication, Leuer is more than up to the task.
After being unable to break a 1-1 tie following 90 minutes of regulation and 20 minutes of sudden death overtime, the only option left to claim a victor between Wisconsin and Arizona State was penalty kicks. Badger goalkeeper Michele Dalton came up with two huge saves to give the Badgers a 4-3 advantage on penalty shots and advance to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
Wisconsin and Minnesota took their heated rivalry to the volleyball court Sunday afternoon at the UW Field House. An announced crowd of 4,341 watched as the Golden Gophers made quick work of the Badgers, sweeping UW in three straight sets.
With just over a minute to go in the third period, the Wisconsin women's hockey team looked set to claim a hard-fought 2-1 victory over Wayne State Thursday night. But when a loose puck bounced off the boards and onto the stick of the Warriors' freshman forward Gina Buquet, she found herself with an open shot at the Wisconsin goal and scored to tie the game.
The Wisconsin men's hockey team closes out a three-week home stand this weekend against the Alaska-Anchorage Seawolves. The Badgers look to continue to improve within the WCHA after picking up two points last weekend against the Gophers.
Wisconsin finally kicks off its regular season Sunday against Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne at home. The Badgers played in the annual red-white scrimmage and two exhibition games, and will now play when it counts.
Having already lost 1-0 to No. 4 seeded Indiana earlier in the season, the No. 5 seeded Wisconsin men's soccer team was looking to turn the tables and pull off an upset on head coach Todd Yeagley's alma mater. Unfortunately for the Badgers, a pair of goals in the second half by Indiana sophomore forward Will Bruin deflated any hopes the Badgers had of claiming their first Big Ten Tournament victory since 2003.
After months of training and a two-game exhibition stint, the Wisconsin men's basketball team will kick off its season this Sunday night when they host Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne. With an extremely competitive Big Ten Conference this year and a challenging stretch in late November and early December, it's crucial the Badgers start off strong to set the tone for a successful season.
A little over a year ago in Ann Arbor, Michigan overcame a 19-point halftime deficit to beat then-undefeated Wisconsin, and kick-started a four-game losing streak that sent the Badgers' season into a tailspin. On Saturday, Wisconsin looks to return the favor.
Against Minnesota Oct. 29 and Nov. 1, the Wisconsin women's hockey team played its best hockey of the year, functioning well with strong goaltending and a high-powered offense that helped the Badgers to a pair of victories over their toughest competition of the year. It was a big difference from the same team that faced North Dakota, Bemidji State and Ohio State earlier in the season and split each of those series with first-game losses.