Position Preview: Forwards

In the final installment of a four-part series previewing the Wisconsin women's soccer team's roster, head coach Paula Wilkins breaks down the Badgers' forwards.

8/15: Goalkeepers  |  8/16: Defenders  |  8/17: Midfielders

Senior forward Laurie Nosbusch has led the Badgers in scoring in each of her three years on campus after posting seven goals as a freshman, six as a sophomore and 10 as a junior. She's back for her senior year and head coach Paula Wilkins is looking for her to continue that production in 2011.

"Laurie will be a key returner for us," Wilkins said. "She's been the leading scorer the last [three] years and will be a focus for many teams."

With Nosbusch firmly entrenched, Wilkins is turning toward a trio of freshmen to play off the senior. Specifically, Wilkins feels that Wauwatosa East product Cara Walls can provide a good counter.

"I think a good complement to [Laurie] will be Cara Walls," Wilkins explained. "She adds a different dimension that Laurie doesn't have and that's the ability to get behind people with some speed. She has the ability to score goals and they've found a great combination rate already between the two of them this season."

Walls is coming off a strong performance at the US Youth National Championships, where she helped lead FC Milwaukee to the Under-18 title. She scored four goals in the tournament, including two in the championship game, to lead all scorers.

Fellow freshmen Olivia Tehan and Nikki Greenhalgh also are coming off championship seasons and look to carry that momentum to the Badgers' season. Olivia Tehan was teammates with Walls on FC Milwaukee's title-winning team, while Nikki Greenhalgh led her high school team, Novi, to a state championship in Michigan.

"I think they bring great athletic dimension, can put people under pressure and cause problems with their work rate and athleticism," Wilkins said. "They're getting better every day in practice."

Wilkins is also hoping to see the return of Paige Adams, who was named to the Big Ten All-Freshman Team in 2009 after scoring three goals and adding three assists. But Adams missed all of the 2010 season due to injury and is still working her way back.

"Paige Adams was hampered with an injury last year and is coming off that right now, but she's a great combination player and I think we can keep the ball in the front half of the field more with her," Wilkins said. "She has a fantastic work rate and has great runs off the ball. She'll be a good complement to Laurie and Cara."

ON WISCONSIN