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The Great Walls: Late goal pushes Badgers past Huskies in 2013 opener

Game Photo
Wisconsin   Wisconsin 3, Connecticut 2
Joseph J. Morrone Stadium • Storrs, Ct. • Attendance: 863

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1st 2nd Final
1 2 3
0 2 2
WIS 26:04 Rose Lavelle (Kinley McNicoll)
WIS 46:41 Kodee Williams (Alev Kelter)
CONN 58:16 Samantha McGuire (Rachel Hill)
CONN 69:50 Riley Houle 
WIS 81:38 Cara Walls (Kinley McNicoll)
 Goalkeepers Min GA Sv
WIS Genevieve Richard (1-0-0) 90:00 2 5
CONN Emily Armstrong (0-1-0) 00:00 3 6
 Stats at a Glance WIS CONN
 Shots 15 15
 Shots on Goal 9 7
 Saves 5 6
 Offsides 2 0
 Corner Kicks 4 3
 Yellow Cards 1 0
 Red Cards 0 0
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Aug. 23, 2013

STORRS, Ct. -- Prior to the season, UW women's soccer head coach Paula Wilkins admitted there would be a lot of in-game learning with her young team in 2013. 

On Friday evening during the Badgers' 2013 opener at the University of Connecticut, it was junior Cara Walls playing the role of teacher.

After conceding two goals and allowing the Huskies to creep back into the match midway through the second half, Walls provided the knockout punch, heading in the game-winning goal in the 81st minute to solidify UW's 3-2 win at Joseph J. Morrone Stadium.

"It's hard for a young team to go on the road and play in an environment like UConn," Wilkins said. "They had a great crowd and played a great game.

"Being up two goals, I was disappointed we let UConn back in the game. However, for us to score a third goal to win the game bodes well for this young team and is something that will hopefully help us in the future."

 Fast Facts
• Walls netted game-winning goal in 81st minute
• Badgers led 2-0 early in second half
• UW conceded a pair of second half scores

Rose Lavelle continued her solid debut in Cardinal and White, carrying over her dominant play from last week's scrimmage and netting the game's first score in the 26th minute. Lavelle showed off her explosiveness on multiple occasions Friday evening, but none was more apparent than on her goal.

The freshman maneuvered through a pair of Huskies defenders just past midfield and once in the clear, sent in a shot from 14 yards out that sniped past the outstretched arms of UConn keeper Emily Armstrong.

The Badgers were quiet offensively for the rest of the first half but opened up their lead to 2-0 just after the intermission on Kodee Williams' six-yard goal in the 46th minute. Alev Kelter provided the helper, as the senior back heeled a through ball to Williams, who was dead on from inside the box.

After conceding a pair of goals in the 58th and 69th minutes, respectively, the Badgers scrambled to regroup offensively and earned a trio of shots on goal just before the 80-minute mark. It was the third strike that would seal the win for the Badgers as Walls capitalized on sophomore Kinley McNicoll's miss off the cross bar.

McNicoll was able to dribble from one side of the box to the other, finally attempting a shot from the right corner of the box. The shot deflected off the cross bar and landed on the left side of the box, just in front of Walls, who headed it in for the game winner.

"I'm happy about the win but there are definitely some things we need to fix and this game showed a lot of those different things," Wilkins added. "Getting our nerves out and getting our feet underneath is good, especially for this team.

"At times we need to just keep playing and we panicked a little so we just have to continue to build that trust factor with each other and also be able to stay sharp and continue to play smart even when we're tired."

UW continues its season-opening four-match road trip on Sunday as it travels to Normal, Ill., to take on Illinois State. Kickoff is slated for 1 p.m. CT.

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