UW Health Sports Medicine 
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- It's been a season to remember thus far for members of the No. 11 Wisconsin women's soccer team. If the moments and wins along the way haven't been enough, many are now donning Badgers with awards and honors that will forever remind them of this season's success.

College Sports Madness released its 2014 Big Ten All-Conference Teams this week, which featured Wisconsin head coach Paula Wilkins as the Big Ten Coach of the Year, as well as four Badgers earning First-Team recognition.

In her eighth season at the helm of the Wisconsin program, Wilkins has guided the Badgers to one of the best campaigns in school history. UW began its season 7-0, which tied for the best start in program history. The Badgers also went on to become the fastest group in school history to reach 10 wins in a season and the first to 13 wins since 2005.

Wilkins reached 200 career wins as a head coach this season with Wisconsin's 4-1 drubbing of rival Minnesota in Minneapolis on Oct. 18. She enters this week's Big Ten tournament with 202 career wins.

Rose Lavelle, Kinley McNicoll, Genevieve Richard and Cara Walls were each named to the CS Madness All-Big Ten First Team. The recognition echoed the league honors each received yesterday when the Big Ten announced its own postseason awards.

No. 11 Wisconsin is set to kick off postseason play at the Big Ten tournament this week in West Lafayette, Indiana. The Badgers face Illinois on Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. (CT).

The staff at College Sports Madness chooses top players for each conference, as well as All-America teams, based on selected players having made a significant contribution to their teams during the 2014 regular season.

Coach of the Year

Paula Wilkins - Wisconsin

Offensive Player of the Year
Jannelle Flaws - Illinois

Defensive Player of the Year
Whitney Church - Penn State

Freshman of the Year
Ani Sarkisian - Michigan

First Team
F - Cloe Lacasse - Iowa
F - Mayme Conroy - Nebraska
F - Jannelle Flaws - Illinois
F - Cara Walls - Wisconsin
M - Ani Sarkisian - Michigan
M - Kinley McNicoll - Wisconsin
M - Rose Lavelle - Wisconsin
M - Emily Hurd - Penn State
D - Mary Kathryn Fiebernitz - Michigan State
D - Whitney Church - Penn State
D - Melanie Pickert - Iowa
D - Erica Skroski - Rutgers
GK - Genevieve Richard - Wisconsin

Catching up with Coach Healy

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In the first 17 years of Wisconsin softball, the team advanced to the NCAA post season 3 times, with a post season record of 1-6.  Over the last two seasons, we've advanced to the NCAA post season twice, with a 4-4 record.  We have a chance to do something special this year, and three-peat.  For the first time in program history, we could post "back-to-back-to-back" post season appearances.  Watching everyone work in the weight room this week, and showing up to get extra and coordinate live hitting this morning, I've never felt better about our chances to make history.

                It's true, we've graduated a lot of talent these last two seasons.  90 percent of our home runs, and wins in the circle have graduated.  Our experience, and our core contributors both offensively and defensively graduated in 2013 and 2014.  That being said, I've never seen a more selfless driven leadership team.  You are all a part of something very special.  This year will feel challenging, and overwhelming at times, but it's historic.  You have to grasp what an amazing opportunity is at hand.  The reason that most teams can't sustain success, is that when things get rough, and the stress from earning a degree from a top ten university builds, and the weather gets cold, and expectations rise, people fold.  The majority of athletes can't take a challenge this rigorous.  Most softball players would choose an easier path.  People don't want the hardest school, the most travel, the coldest weather, and the least legacy.  You could have chosen so many different options that would have been easier, but you didn't.  For some reason, you chose Wisconsin.

                Our staff knows, that path of least resistance rarely leads to true success or happiness.  Those who face adversity head on, and challenge themselves now, over these four years, will be more equipped to handle challenges and life for the next 40 years.  This degree that you are working for will change your life.  You are sacrificing now, to give yourself an advantage when it comes to graduate school, medical school, the competitive job market, and life.  Competing at the BCS level in sports, in the Big Ten, will provide you resources, connections, in-roads, and alumni that can help you get your foot in the door, anywhere in the country.  You are learning to manage stress, challenges, and adversity with composure and grace.

We really are so proud to coach this group.  Watching all of you this week, we could be a 40 win team, just based on your character, work-ethic, and drive.  This is going to be a fun group to chase history with.  The odds are stacked against us, and this could easily be a dip year.  On paper, we may be a 23 win team.  Yet, we believe, with your determination these next three weeks leading into Thanksgiving, we can make strides, climb past teams, and surprise the world along the way.

Happy Halloween!

-Wisconsin head coach Yvette Healy

Nurse's Notes: Happy Monday!


Happy Monday! 

Last week, men's basketball coach Bo Ryan hosted his annual Make Bo Pay event, raising money for cancer research. Our entire team attended and were able to shoot a free throw and a half court shot. Every free throw made, Coach Ryan donated $10 and every half court shot made, he donated $1000. Many of us made our free throws but Katy Josephs was the big winner and made that $1000 half court shot. 

Josephs' moneyball led us into this past weekend as we traveled up to Bemidji, Minnesota, for a road series with the Beavers. This weekend we were able to come together after a few tough losses and a good week of practice to bounce back and get two wins on the road. 

The weather was beautiful up in Bemidji and as per my promise last week, the best tan hands down goes to our media man AJ Harrison, who spent a good chunk of the weekend by the lake.Thanks to everyone who followed along and tuned into the live blog, talk to you soon!

~ Sarah

Nurse Notes: Getting ready for Bemidji


Hey Badger fans,

Thanks to everyone who came out this weekend to watch us play the Gophers, the atmosphere in the LaBahn was incredible! And although not the results we wanted, we're looking forward to this next weekend of hockey as we head out to Bemdji, Minnesota, to play the Beavers. 

We're pretty excited to head up there now because this weekend it's supposed to be about 70 degrees and I hear there's a beach right by our hotel. I'll let you know who comes out with the best tan once the weekends through. 

We play Friday night at 7 p.m. and Saturday afternoon at 4, so make sure you tune into the live blog or follow along on Twitter with @BadgerWHockey

Until next time! 

~ Sarah

Nurse's Notes: A weekend of firsts!

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Hey Badger fans,

This past weekend was full of firsts for the Badgers. It was our first series at home, Ann Renee Desbiens recorded her first shutout of the season, Maddie Rolfes made her Badger debut, and Baylee Wellhausen and Annie Pankowski both scored their first collegiate goals. And to top that all off we clinched our first home series sweep.

The success started during Thursdays practice when Sydney McKibbon showcased her million dollar hands and won the shootout showdown for the second week in a row. We came off to a strong start on Friday night and continued that momentum through the weekend to play six solid periods of hockey. There was a ton of special teams work and we were able to score on our power plays while stopping all of our oppositions.

This week we're looking to improve and prepare for our border battle against the Gophers this weekend. But first up today is Canadian Thanksgiving, so on behalf of everyone with the UW women's hockey team let me offer a Happy Thanksgiving to all of our Canadian friends and family. I hope everyone enjoys their day and their turkey! Until next time!

~ Sarah

Nurse's Notes: Ready to play at home

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Good Morning!

If you want my opinion Thursdays are so underrated. How could you possibly not love a Thursday, especially if that said Thursday happens to be the day before our home opener.. Now if that doesn't excite you then I don't know what will!

Although our season officially started two weeks ago in Lindenwood, there's no place like home and we've been buzzing all week in preparation for our games this weekend. We've been putting in work on the ice and in the gym everyday this week so I asked forward Erica Sowchuk to talk about our preparation.

"Practices having been going great," Sowchuk said. "Each week we step on the ice we are looking better than the week before, which is exactly what we want. Having the momentum from our sweep last weekend should give us an edge when we face off against Ohio State!"

I also talked with senior forward Katy Josephs, who's appeared in her fair share of home openers.

"I'm feeling really good about tomorrow night," Josephs said. "We had a great week of practice as a team and everyone has really been putting in extra work and effort for when the puck drops on Friday. I'm so excited to be back playing at home infront of our own fans and experience the energy of LaBahn again! It should be a great weekend."

It's been a great week thus far over here on our end and we're looking forward to keeping the success rolling and ending off the week with a few wins. See you all this weekend!

~ Sarah

Nurse's Notes: Happy Monday Badger Fans!

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Happy Monday Badger Fans!

This weekend we traveled up to Minnesota Duluth to play the No. 10 Bulldogs. After our long bus ride we went straight to business and started practice. As per road trip traditions, we finished off practice with a shootout competition. Sydney McKibbon made it look easy (sorry goalies!) as she dangled and sniped and then celebrated as she came out this weekend's shootout winner (watch it here). As per road trip tradition #2, she got to pick who would be serenading the team and staff at pre-game meal on Friday. Lauren Williams turned out to be the chosen one and gave an impressive, tear-jerking performance of "Drops of Jupiter."
Keeping up with great traditions, as I mentioned last week, it's an absolutely amazing feeling to put on the Wisconsin jersey. Last weekend in Duluth, freshman Emily Clark got to experience it for the first time.

"Going into my first weekend of games as a Badger I felt nothing but excitement," Clark said. "I couldn't wait to be able to wear the 'W' with all my teammates. I was very anxious to put the jersey on for the first time. Once I had it on it was hard not to smile"

After a hard fought battle and a great team effort on Friday night we were able to keep the momentum going into Saturday's game and sweep the Bulldogs in their own arena and take six points home. We had stellar performances across the board as Ann-Renee held up between the pipes, our defense didn't let anyone by them and every forward line was firing shift after shift.

The two wins bring us to 4-0 on the season which feels great as we look forward to this weekend when we have our home opener against Ohio State. It's been an incredibly long seven months since the LaBahn was packed and I can't wait until Friday night because I have no doubt it'll be bumping in there. After all, we have the best fans in the nation! Until next time!

~ Sarah

Nurse's Notes: On the road again


Hey Everyone!

Last week I was in Canada with four of my teammates at the Hockey Canada National Women's Fall Team Festival. We were split up onto three teams and we played a few games and had a few practices over the course of the week. We were playing with quite a few Olympians from the 2014 Winter Olympics which was a lot of fun and an incredible experience. However, I'm so excited to be back. 

This week has been pretty successful coming off our series sweep in Lindenwood. We had a lot of players put up multi-point games and Jorie Walters recorded her first career shutout. We had Karley Sylvester claim WCHA Offensive Player of the Week honors and Annie Pankowski winning WCHA Rookie of the Week award. We had a very productive week of practices and workouts, setting up systems and getting into the flow of things now that we have a full roster.

This weekend were headed to Minnesota Duluth for our first round of conference games. We're on the road right now and will practice at their rink tonight. Then tomorrow and  it's finally gameday! There's no feeling like rocking the "W" on your chest. I can't wait to put that jersey on and start my sophomore season! Talk to you soon!

~ Sarah

Nurse's Notes: Starting 2014-15 off with a sweep!

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Hey Badger Fans!

Katy Harding here again as the Badgers are off to a great start coming off a weekend sweep against the Lindenwood Lady Lions!

The first goal of the 2014-2015 season came from senior forward Karley Sylvester in her first shift of the game! Goaltender Megan Miller also played her first game as a Badger in Lindenwood, while junior goaltender Jorie Walters earned her first shutout as a Badger during the second game.

Junior defenseman Courtney Burke was able to tell me her thoughts about the series and her thoughts on what she is expecting from the team in Duluth next weekend.

"I think we played really well as a team this weekend even though we were missing a big chunk of our team. Everyone stepped up to the plate, and I'm excited to get back with the whole team on Monday and prepare for Duluth."

Burke also had nothing but nice things to say about Baylee Wellhausen's performance.

"She started the weekend off strong with her vocal performance Friday afternoon before the game," Burke said. "On the ice she was playing very fast and strong. I think she will keep improving over the course of the season and end up being a big asset for our team."

 It was a great weekend for all on the team and we are looking forward to this weeks practices and begin preparing for our next series against Minnesota Duluth!

I would also like to thank Sarah Nurse for letting me take over this blog for the week and write to all of you amazing fans! She'll be back this week and will tell us how her trip to Hockey Canada's Fall Festival went!

-    Katy

Nurse's Notes: Harding takes the reins

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Hey Badger Fans!

It's Katy Harding here! Sarah Nurse can't be with us this weekend as she's in Canada so when she came up to me and asked if I would want to take over the blog for the week I was honored! I hope everyone had a wonderful and exciting week! 

We sure had an exciting week as we began our first official practices of the year last Saturday and started preparing for the first games of the season against Lindenwood! 

The Badger Bus left Madison today at 10 a.m. and we arrived in Missouri at 4 and took to the ice for a practice before our first game tomorrow. It was a great practice and it ended with Jenny Ryan as the shootout champion who choose our fellow freshman Baylee Wellhausen to be the one to give a singing performance at our pregame meal tomorrow, we all can't wait to see what she does!  

After practice we came back to our hotel and ate dinner and since its Thursday a majority of us are watching Greys Anatomy, Scandal, and How To Get Away With Murder and of course some of us are studying. 

During our down time I was able to catch up with freshman defender Lauren Williams to talk to her about how she is feeling the night before her first games as a Badger.

"It doesn't feel real yet," Williams said. "I am very excited to get the first games of my collegiate career under my belt." 

We all can't wait to get out there tomorrow and play some hockey! Let the season begin!!