Badgers look to end skid against Phoenix

first_imgDEREK MONTGOMERY/Herald photoThe Wisconsin women’s soccer team will have another chance to gain momentum Thursday as the Badgers head north to face in-state rival UW-Green Bay. A spell of bad luck as plagued the Badgers this season. So far they have lost seven matches by just one goal. Most recently, they endured a 1-0 loss to Purdue in the final two minutes last Friday.Head Purdue coach Rob Klatte admitted after the game that Wisconsin was the best team the Boilermakers have faced all year and should not have one Big Ten win.UW head coach Dean Duerst pointed out that Klatte has not been the only coach to notice Wisconsin’s slump. “[Klatte] is about the fourth coach to say that,” Duerst added. “[Losing close games] is very frustrating from a coaching standpoint. Unfortunately for this team right now, [a win] has been there, but we have not been able to get the job done.”The Badgers are currently ranked ninth in the Big Ten and have found themselves in a scramble to win games. The Big Ten Tournament only takes the top eight Big Ten teams.Wisconsin is hoping a win against UW-Green Bay will help boost team morale.”This is definitely a game where we need to gain some confidence so we can qualify for Big Tens,” midfielder Allison Preiss said. “We just need to get a win and this could be a big win.””[To win] is the goal,” Duerst added. “It is one of those goals that we set at the beginning of the year. There is a lot of intensity in this game; [Green Bay] really gets up for it. You can never overlook an in-state team. We are a team that is supposed to win this game, and we will win this game, but you need to go in knowing that they will be excited to play.”Wisconsin leads the all-time series against Green Bay 11-0-0. Despite upending the Phoenix 5-1 last year, the Badgers plan to take the game very seriously. “We know from past results that we can beat them, but we obviously have to take this [game] really seriously,” senior Marissa Brown said. “At this point, we really need wins. It’s important. If we can get some goals and come out with a good result, then we can gain some confidence which is what this team needs.””From what we have seen this season so far anything can happen,” Brown continued. “We need to take this [game] seriously and come out and play strong.”The Phoenix is led by junior Stephanie Gross, who has notched eight goals in 15 games thus far. Green Bay has also found consistent performances from goalkeepers Brooke Wikgren and Pam Luckow. Both goalkeepers have teamed up to record six shutouts this season and should provide plenty of competition for UW seniors Amy Vermeulen and Katy Lindenmuth. During last year’s match-up between the schools, Lindenmuth recorded two goals against Wikgren, while Vermeulen had two assists. Both Vermeulen and Lindenmuth lead Wisconsin this season with five goals apiece. Juniors Kara Kabellis and Preiss are tied for third on the scoring list with four goals each. Although the Badgers will be searching to gain momentum following a victory, Green Bay has been on a roll, winning five of their last six games.Duerst is expecting his squad to show up ready to play with confidence. He is also hoping his team will unleash some built up frustration against the in-state rivals.”We want to go out and play with a lot of confidence,” Duerst said. “We will get a lot of chances on goal and it will be a game that hopefully will allow us to take a lot of frustration out from this season.””We want to just take it to them, but not in a bad way,” Duerst continued with a grin. “I think our team has some anger and we really need a win right now to turn things around. It should be fun.”Though the Badgers are hoping to have a lot of chances to score, the question remains whether they can last the full 90 minutes against the Phoenix.This season, Duerst has repeatedly said his team has only played 45 minutes of soccer. Thursday, he hopes for the full 90 minutes of aggressive play. He also wants to see his players play with heart and determination.”I hope to see our players play with love and passion because that is what this is all about,” Duerst said.last_img

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