Season over for Wisconsin


first_imgGREG DIXON/Herald photoEVANSTON, Ill.–The season is over for the Wisconsin women’s soccer team. Following a devastating 3-0 loss to Northwestern, Wisconsin has been eliminated from Big Ten tournament consideration.Coming into Friday’s matchup, Wisconsin needed a win to keep its postseason hopes alive. Northwestern, on the other hand, had already secured a tournament berth with a 3-0 victory over Iowa.It was the Wildcats who came out looking like the team that was facing a must-win situation. In contrast, the Badgers played like a team that had run out of gas after beating the Iowa Hawkeyes 2-0 a week ago.“For me, [the loss] is extremely disappointing,” head coach Paula Wilkins said. “I think your entire season is based on what you do in the postseason — not to make the Big Ten tournament is a major wake-up call to myself and to the players.“There are a lot of things that this program needs to do better,” Wilkins added. “We cannot leave it down to one game like this.”Offensively for Northwestern, senior Shannon Schneeman netted her team-leading ninth goal of the season and eventual game-winner in the 31st minute.The Wildcats kept the pressure on the Badgers late in the first half as freshman Sam Greene tallied her first goal of the season in the 41st minute.Northwestern’s other senior offensive leader — Kelsey Hans — would not be outdone by Schneeman.Hans added the Wildcats’ third and final goal in the 52nd minute — her ninth goal of the season — with a spectacular shot off the crossbar.“[Northwestern] had three great finishes. The third goal, that was a great shot,” Wilkins said. “They were dynamic, and they brought a lot of emotion; they looked like one of the best teams I have seen in recent years.”Despite allowing three goals, Wilkins praised senior goalkeeper Lynn Murray for her play Friday night.“[Lynn] played quite well; I think she did everything she could,” Wilkins said. “Even with the three goals, I was impressed. With the shots that they had, I don’t think many people could have gotten to those.”Wisconsin never seemed to get in rhythm offensively as the team once again struggled to create scoring opportunities. Overall, the Badgers were outshot 16-7 by the Wildcats. Further, they only managed to post three shots on goal while the Wildcats tallied eight.“I think we worry too much about playing defense and trying to have people back there so that the other team does not create opportunities,” junior forward Taylor Walsh said. “When we do get chances to go forward there are not enough people going forward to make anything happen.”Senior Shannon Terry also noted that Wisconsin’s inability to create scoring opportunities often stems from its concentration on defensive play.“I think our forwards need to have more confidence in our defense rather than thinking ‘I have to go back and help,’” Terry said. “We should remember that Birdie [Leibham] or [Lauren] Rud[zinski] or whoever, can take care of themselves and they don’t need us to come back and help.”Friday’s loss was an emotional and shocking one for Terry and her fellow seniors as it marked the end of their careers in the cardinal and white.The Badgers graduate six seniors — Madison natives Ann Eshun and Katy Meuer, goalkeeper Lynn Murray, defender Lauren Rudzinski, midfielder Marissa Sarkesian and Terry, a forward.“I am really upset,” an emotional Terry said of the loss. “I am kind of in between crying and shock right now. I am really shocked; I cannot believe it is over — I have to be a real person now.”Walsh, who took a medical redshirt her freshman season, started her career with Eshun, Meuer, Murray and Terry. After the loss, Walsh will no longer share the field with her fellow classmates.“I will cry for like 30 seconds and then it will go away and then I will cry again,” Walsh said. “I don’t know what I am going to do without these girls. I cannot imagine playing without them.”As the Badgers transition into the offseason, the team will continue to focus on details as it has the entire season. Additionally, Wilkins plans to put the team through an extensive conditioning program.“We are going to start back with the basics,” Wilkins said. “We need to pick up the tempo and demand more out of players. I think we need to get better with fitness and with the whole spring ahead of us that is going to be our complete and utter focus.”last_img read more