Position Preview: Midfielders

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


Head coach Paula Wilkins will have no shortage of options when it comes to her midfielders in the 2011 season.

At least eight different players can be relied upon, she explained, including 2010 second-team All-Big Ten honorees Erin Jacobsen and Alev Kelter.

The two excel in different facets of the game. Jacobsen tallied two assists on the year and added standout defense from the midfield position, while Kelter was third on the squad with three goals and eight points.

"Erin has always been a great defender at center-mid for us," Wilkins explained. "She is one of the reasons why we've been successful defensively. She stops a lot of the problems before they even start and has been very good.

"Alev is a physical force in the midfield. She's a returning second-team All-Regional and All-Big Ten player and will be looked upon to score some goals with her head, which is what she's really good at, and be a dominant force in the midfield."

Wilkins is looking at Monica Lam-Feist and Lauren Cochlin to pick up where they left off last season. Lam-Feist scored both goals in the Badgers' season-ending loss to Marquette in the second round of the NCAA tournament and finished third on the team with three goals and was fourth with seven points. Cochlin added a goal and assist to finish the year with three points and will look to use her speed in 2011.

"Monica has really good vision and is a good distributor of the ball in the midfield," Wilkins said. "She's able to connect a lot of parts and is dangerous in the front half of the field. Scoring the last two goals of the season against Marquette, she's coming on stronger and stronger offensively.

"At the very end of the season last year Lauren really came on strong and she had a great summer preparing. Her speed is unmatched on the team and a lot in the Big Ten. She'll be looked upon to create some problems getting behind people."

Leigh Williams and Lindsey Hamann are two midfielders who are looking to come back from ailments and Wilkins believes both will be factors.

"Leigh Williams, after getting mononucleosis and not being able to play in the NCAAs against Marquette, I think is going to come back with a vengeance her senior year," Wilkins said. "She adds a scrappy mentality that we need out there, but she's also a great attacking threat and has a great work rate.

"Lindsey Hamann has been battling injuries the last few years but we're expecting her to play a role in the midfield. She brings a good combining ability just like Julia [Roddar] and she'll be experienced in that way."

A pair of freshmen will also be looked upon to bolster the midfield play in Julia Roddar and Krissy Many. Roddar becomes the first Badger to hail from Sweden after she saw time with the Swedish National Under-15, Under-17 and Under-19 teams. Many helped Naperville Central in Illinois to three conference and regional titles.

"Julia brings some international experience with the Swedish national team," Wilkins said. "She's a very good technical player who can connect passes and will create good combination play in the front half of the field. She has a good engine and good work rate and I'm excited to see her.

"Krissy Many is just a really good physical presence in terms of what she can do. She's very good in the air, almost equal to Alev, and I think that element will be something we need."

With proven commodities, players looking to build on late season success, players looking to bounce back from injuries and players looking to make a name for themselves, things are looking bright for the midfielders in 2011.

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