Women’s Soccer: Badgers travel to Milwaukee, Lexington for start of extended road stretch

first_imgThe Wisconsin women’s soccer team returned to the McClimon Center this past weekend and put forth a mixed performance, drumming Loyola-Chicago 4-1 Friday before dropping the second match of the homestand 1-0 to Illinois State Sunday.The 3-3 team now hits the road for two consecutive weekends, starting the first series with a trip to UW-Milwaukee Friday and Kentucky Sunday.Game 1: vs. UW-Milwaukee (2-2), Friday at 6 p.m. In many aspects, the Panthers and the Badgers actually have a lot in common. They’re both from Wisconsin, currently stand at .500 and have trouble scoring goals on a consistent basis. But both play solid defense and have already lost to Illinois State this season. The last matchup between the two sides was in 2013, when Wisconsin topped Milwaukee 3-0 in Madison.Wisconsin’s key to victory: Finishing on 0ffenseThere’s no such thing as “brownie points” in sports, especially in a game like soccer. Even if a team puts up 17 shots against an opposing defense – like the Badgers did against Illinois State Sunday – there’s no guarantee any of them will find the net.If there is such a thing as an encouraging loss, however, then Wisconsin certainly had one. While getting shutout was frustrating for the team, they still put forward a high-powered attack with far more scoring opportunities than the opposition.Look for a bounce-back game from junior midfielder Rose Lavelle this Friday in Milwaukee. She’s netted a goal in four of the team’s six games this season and hasn’t gone scoreless in back-to-back contests yet.Opposing player to watch: Milwaukee goalkeeper Paige LincicumWith the Panthers offense struggling to score goals, the sophomore goalkeeper has been heavily relied on to win games this season. So far, Lincicum has held up her end, posting two shutouts and saving over 83 percent of the shots against her. Going up against a frustrated Wisconsin offense, Lincicum’s ability to keep the Panthers in the game late could be the deciding factor Friday.Game 2: at Kentucky (5-1), Sunday at 2 p.m.Sunday’s matchup showcases two programs currently heading in different directions early in the season. While the Wildcats have won four straight matches and look like contenders in the SEC, the Badgers have quickly stumbled out of the top 25 and are looking to get back to their winning ways.Wisconsin’s Key to Victory: Minimizing TurnoversKentucky boasts a loaded offensive lineup with four different players already scoring multiple goals this season. Combine that with a Badgers unit that has struggled with turnovers this season, and a perfect storm could be in the making.The senior-studded Wisconsin backline has been reliable all season, but if some of the less-experienced forwards struggle with possession up top, the defense could get caught out of position during a Kentucky counterattack.Opposing player to watch: Kentucky midfielder Katy KeenThe reigning SEC player of the week has stepped up in her second season to become a focal point in the Wildcats’ offense. Katy Keen was the hero for Kentucky last Friday in their matchup against archrival Louisville, scoring the game-winning goal in the second half of a 1-0 contest. The midfielder then followed up her performance with another strong showing against Ohio last Sunday, tacking on an assist in the 3-0 Wildcat victory.last_img read more

No. 7 Syracuse’s defense holds strong but can’t finish in 13-8 loss at No. 9 Cornell

first_img Published on April 10, 2018 at 10:59 pm Contact Josh: jlschafe@syr.edu | @Schafer_44 ITHACA, N.Y. — Syracuse’s Dom Madonna did what he could, sprawling low to deflect a fast break opportunity. With SU already set to go a man-down following a Tucker Dordevic penalty, Madonna denied the initial scoring chance but failed to maintain possession. Instead, the ball bounced to the corner, and the Big Red’s possession continued.Again, on the next feed, Syracuse seemed to stop Cornell. An Orange long pole deflected a pass, leaving the ball on the carpet for SU defender Nick Mellen. The ball took an off-bounce, Mellen bobbled the pickup, and Cornell’s Clarke Petterson buried another Cornell goal.“We didn’t play absolutely terrible,” Mellen said. “They got a bunch of goals off broken plays and passes that somehow went to the ground and somehow went to their stick.”On Tuesday night at Schoellkopf Field, No. 7 Syracuse’s (6-4, 3-0 Atlantic Coast) defense held strong at times but couldn’t finish in a 13-8 loss to No. 9 Cornell (8-3, 3-1 Ivy league). The Big Red’s offense entered riding a four-game winning streak in which it averaged more than 20 goals. It ranked first in goals per game (15.30), assists per game (10.50), points per game (25.80) and shooting percentage (.418). Yet Syracuse held it scoreless for more than 13 minutes in the second quarter and more than eight minutes in the third.Still, Cornell finished enough. In a game with nearly equal shots on goal and an even faceoff distribution, the Big Red hammered SU on the ground. It scooped 43 groundballs to the Orange’s 30. Five of Cornell’s goals came off second-chance opportunities where it had already shot earlier in the possession.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“Just going into this game I think we knew it was going to scrap; it was going to be a battle,” said Cornell attack Jeff Teat, who had six points. “I think we scraped off second-chance opportunities and finished plays when we need to.”Cornell dumped in four goals before 10 minutes had ticked off the clock. After the Big Red saved a Bradley Voigt shot, the agonizing possessions began for SU. With the Orange trailing by two goals at the time, Teat scooped up a ball off what could’ve been a Cornell turnover a minute into the possession. Then he fired a shot off an SU defender, but Cornell’s Connor Fletcher nabbed the groundball.The ball eventually worked its way back to Teat. He was covered tightly but whipped a behind-the-back pass into traffic anyway. The ball jostled through a crowd of SU defenders before bouncing on the ground. Cornell attack John Piatelli scooped the ball off the hop, making it appear as if the bounce pass was intentional. Moments later, Piatelli’s low crank shot dribbled in after deflecting off the goalkeeper.“I thought it was OK considering how much they had the ball,” Syracuse head coach John Desko said. “We just can’t let them get the inside stuff.”Throughout the night, Syracuse’s defense looked like a football defense that was excellent on the first two downs but faltered on the third, or a basketball defense stellar at contesting shots but horrible at boxing out.Syracuse’s version of those came when the defense flashed a glimmer of hope. Mellen caused a turnover on Teat behind the cage, simply poking the ball right out of the nation’s leading point scorer’s stick. On SU’s next possession, Cornell did the same, forcing David Lipka into a turnover.Again, Mellen forced a turnover. Mellen rode Teat down the right hash marks, the same place he had been beaten for a goal in the first quarter, and swatted the ball out of Teat’s stick. With Teat falling to the ground, Mellen scooped the ground ball and gave SU a possession, which led to a goal.Then came another lengthy possession. Syracuse denied Cornell for more than two minutes. Madonna’s save once again left the ball loose. Cornell missed the net on its next shot. Then, with Teat standing nearly flat-footed at the top of the X, he fed an open cutter for a Cornell goal.“You have to understand that’s just the way it goes,” Mellen said. “Sometimes we’re going to get a couple big stops and we try to clear it and turn it over or we get down to the offense and they just get a quick turnover. That’s just something we need to work on.”Moments before Mellen spoke, explaining how SU’s defense hadn’t played as bad as the scoreboard may have portrayed, Cornell’s players celebrated.The Big Red players gathered in front of the entrance to Schoellkopf Field, rose their hands and hooted and hollered in celebration as their photo was taken. In Cornell’s best win since 2014, it didn’t matter how well Syracuse’s defense had played. The scoreboard didn’t reflect it. Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img read more