UW Health Sports Medicine 

Position Preview: Goalkeepers

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

Wisconsin returns all four goalkeepers from last season's roster that put forth one of the finest defensive seasons in school history.

The Badgers allowed only 11 goals in 20 games which is the fewest for the program since women's soccer became a sport in the Big Ten Conference in 1994. The team was even better in conference play, yielding just three goals to establish another program best.

From Sept. 10-Oct. 10, the Badgers held nine straight opponents without a goal, matching the 1985 squad for the longest shutout streak in school history.

Then a junior, Michele Dalton posted eight shutouts in the nine-game stretch and finished the year with 11 clean sheets, the fourth-best number in school history and the most since 1989. Dalton was named second-team All-Big Ten for the season and head coach Paula Wilkins is counting on her again in 2011.

"Obviously [Michele] had a great season last year and her return will give us some stability and some experience in there," Wilkins said. "She'll be looked upon again to manage the game well and we'll need her to make some big saves to keep us in the game like she did last year."

Joining Dalton are fellow senior Lauren Gunderson, junior Olivia Hoff and sophomore Genevieve Richard.

Gunderson started both games she played in last year, including a clean sheet against South Dakota State on Sept. 10.

Neither Hoff nor Richard has seen time in net for the Badgers, but have gained valuable experience throughout their careers.

Hoff won two state championships with FC Milwaukee in 2007 and 2009 and Richard gained experience on the international level representing Canada at the FIFA Under-17 World Cup in New Zealand in 2010.

"Genevieve Richard comes with great experience playing in the U-17 World Cup which obviously makes the environment for the starting position competitive," Wilkins said. "Olivia Hoff has gotten better and better every spring, while Lauren Gunderson brings great experience and has gotten opportunities in the past.

"I think it's one of the most experienced goalkeeping crews that we've had in my five years here."