Wisconsin suffers pair of weekend losses in overtime

first_imgFor whatever the reason, the Wisconsin women’s soccer team (5-5-2 overall, 0-3-1 Big Ten) has not been able to catch a break. The Badgers were on the verge of winning two important games against Penn State and Minnesota this weekend, but missed opportunities and bad bounces cost Wisconsin as they lost both games in overtime.Sunday against Penn State, Wisconsin had the daunting task of covering 2004 Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year Tiffany Weimer. Following a Wisconsin foul, Weimer opened the scoring for Penn State by converting on a penalty kick. The Nittany Lions led 1-0 at halftime.Fortunately for Wisconsin, that was the only shot Weimer had all game. Weimer, a NSCAA All-American, was averaging almost five shots per game and had scored 16 goals approaching the game.According to Wisconsin head coach Dean Duerst, the scheme for Sunday was to have senior Marissa Brown cover Wiemer for the duration of the game.”You have to have a game plan against Penn State,” Duerst said. “The plan was to have Marissa Brown take care of Tiffany Weimer, who’s obviously a very special player, and Marissa did an absolutely fantastic job. … The overall game plan was to slow the game down — take time off the clock, take time on set plays and play towards the sidelines so we can get throw-ins and corner kicks. Our players adjusted very well to how this game was played.”Wisconsin was able to convert in the second half when freshman Elise Weber scored her second career goal in the 79th minute, which forced the game into overtime.The game ended when Penn State’s Sheree Gray scored the game-winner off a corner kick. With the win, the Nittany Lions remain undefeated on the year with a 12-0 mark.This was the fourth consecutive game, and the seventh of the season, that the Badgers have seen overtime action.”I think we are setting a record here,” Duerst said. “In all my years of soccer I have never seen that many overtime games [in such a short time] and tough endings for this team. This game is really going to help us a lot. Not because of the loss, but the way we fought and stuck to the game plan. … They’re tough kids and they are the kind that will step up and rebound next time out. We just need a little luck going our way.”Friday night, Wisconsin was unable to cash in offensively and was upended by Minnesota in double overtime, 1-0.In a very physical contest, Wisconsin dominated the time of possession and out-shot Minnesota 21-8. The only goal of the evening came as Kaitlin Wagner made Minnesota’s only shot on goal and scored the game-winner with a header into the back corner of the net.For Wisconsin, it was a night of missed opportunities as they were unable to convert on a variety of breakaways, corner kicks, and open nets. It was the first time all season that Wisconsin was held without a goal.”The ghost of no goals has come to haunt us,” Duerst said. “It was really surprising [for us not to score] with all the chances we had. We certainly could have put this game away.”Wisconsin’s defense, however, was able to hold Minnesota’s scoring front in check off corner kicks. Throughout the night, Minnesota attempted nine corner kicks, coming up with no shots on goal and few second-chance attempts.One thing Duerst was pleased with was the defensive play throughout the game.”[Corner kicks] are the difference a lot of times,” Duerst said. “Those set plays, which are loose chances. We didn’t give up a lot of secondary chances off those corners. That was nice. Our organization there was solid. … We need to continue to be determined. There are plenty of games to play. We will continue to get better and we will finish.”Junior Goalie Stefani Szczechowski made her first start in goal this season for Wisconsin and posted a shutout through regulation. For Szczechowski, it showed the reward for all her tough work and discipline throughout the season.”[Getting the start in goal] was a great accomplishment,’ said Szczechowski. “As you can tell by the stats, it was my first start. Day in and day out, I train as hard as I can so it feels really good just to finally be in on the field. I had a few nerves in the first half but came out strong in the second half.”last_img