In this week's Badger Blog, head coach Yvette Healy talks about respect.
I love the T-shirts I saw all over Yankee Stadium the night of his last game. Re2pect. What a cool word and logo. Yes I love things with your number on them. But more than the number, I love the word and what it means.
Respect is such a powerful compliment. There's this deep understanding of the person, their plight and what they're all about when you use the word respect. You really have to know and value the individual and their journey, their obstacles, the adversity they deal with and their perseverance to use the word respect.
There are so many people in my life that I respect. The ones that stand out are usually the trailblazers. The ones doing things that have never been done, like my mom, being the first in her family to go beyond grade-school education, advancing to earn her high school, college and master's degrees when no one else around her was doing that.
I respect my Athletic Director at DePaul, Jean Lenti. Before being named AD, she was a life-long senior women's administrator who loved her athletes, was humble, gracious, smart and firm. She wasn't afraid to care for you, connect with you and hold you accountable all while giving you a hug. My boss now, Terry Gawlik, is one of the most successful female administrators in our conference, and on the national scene. There aren't many women at her level in athletics, and she somehow manages to be smart, kind, proactive and fashionable. She leads by empowering, not micromanaging, and that I respect.
So when I think about our Wisconsin Softball team this season, the word respect has come to mind. Who do you respect and why? What is important to you, who are your role models? Who lives their life, both personally and professionally, that inspires you? I saw Jill, our team physical therapist, finding time to coach and mentor young girls in our community through Girls on the Run. Her passion for athletics isn't just a job. She wants to help our athletes succeed. Seeing our team volunteer, after watching them train and lift, run and practice, fills us with pride.
I really don't know how strong we'll be this year, when I look at what we've lost and how we look on paper. I do know, that this group is special. We're filled with more selfless leaders like Megan Tancill, and fearless competitions like Ashley Van Zealand, and kids who are willing to put their heart into competing each and every day like Chloe Miller. I have respect for Taylor Paige Stewart working to get into med school while perfecting her curve and rise ball. Because this is a special group this will be a special year. This team is filled with trailblazers, if you just look around you, but the respect has to start with you.
Hopefully you reach out to someone in the next few days, and tell them how they've inspired you. Share how their actions and accomplishments are significant. When you see people overcome adversity, and achieve great things while being a great person, let them know. Be a storyteller.
Finally, think about yourself. Do you respect who you are right now? How do you treat yourself? How do you train, what do you eat, how do you sleep? How do you let others treat you? You get one body in this world, you need it to run, lift, compete, play sports, train, learn, and maybe someday have kids and chase them around. That's pretty profound. Respect.
Team Canada scored twice in the final five minutes to defeat Team USA, 3-2, on Wednesday during the second day of the Four Nations Cup in Kamloops, British Columbia.
Alex Rigsby stopped 18 shots in a losing effort for the U.S., while Brianna Decker tallied an assist for Team USA.
The U.S. scored early in the first to grab a 1-0 advantage before Canada scored a power-play goal to tie the game up heading into the first intermission. In the second stanza, Decker assisted on Shiann Darkangelo's power-play tally which gave the U.S. a 2-1 lead.
It looked like that lead would hold until Canada scored twice in a 46 second span to take a lead it would never relinquish.
Team USA will face Sweden on Friday at 3 p.m.
U.S. Box Score | Canada Box Score
Former Wisconsin star Hilary Knight scored the game-winning goal midway through the first period to lift the United States to a 5-0 win over Finland on the first day of the Four Nations Cup in Kamloops, British Columbia.
Knight lit the lamp with 8:16 left in the first period off a feed from Shiann Darkangelo to give the U.S. a 1-0 lead. Team USA went on to score two goals in the second and third period to earn the 5-0 triumph.
Brianna Decker and current UW freshman Annie Pankowski both started the game on Team USA's top-line, while former UW goaltender Alex Rigsby dressed but did not see any game action
Two Badgers were also in action for Team Canada, as Canada defeated Sweden, 2-0, in the second game of the tournament. Emily Clark and Blayre Turnbull both saw playing time for Canada.
The U.S. and Canada meet tonight at 9 p.m. (CT) in the Four Nations Cup, and fans can watch the game on Fast Hockey.
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
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
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.
-Wisconsin head coach Yvette Healy
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!
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!