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Come-Quack Kids: Badgers upend Ducks in comeback fashion

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Wisconsin   Wisconsin 2, Oregon 1
Papé Field • Eugene, Ore. • Attendance: 864

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1st 2nd Final
0 2 2
1 0 1
ORE 44:53 Brooke Strawn (Kiyomi Cook)
WIS 54:59 Alev Kelter (Kinley McNicoll)
WIS 73:33 Cara Walls (Alev Kelter)
 Goalkeepers Min GA Sv
WIS Richard (3-0-0) 90:00 1 3
ORE Steele (1-2-0) 90:00 2 5
 Stats at a Glance WIS ORE
 Shots 12 13
 Shots on Goal 7 5
 Saves 3 5
 Offsides 1 3
 Corner Kicks 5 4
 Yellow Cards 0 0
 Red Cards 0 0
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Aug. 30, 2013

EUGENE, Ore. -- The temperature reached nearly 90 degrees at kickoff from Papé Field on Friday night and the Wisconsin women’s soccer team kept the heat up all the way into the second half, scoring a pair of goals in the final 45 minutes of action to secure a 2-1 comeback victory over the Oregon Ducks.

“From the beginning this team has been special in terms of their unity among one another,” UW head coach Paula Wilkins said. “After we gave up that goal just before the half, a good chunk of our halftime conversation was getting the players to embrace the challenge and deciding how they could overcome it as a team.

"I thought we played a little better in the second half and obviously we were able to get the result we wanted.”

 Fast Facts
• Badgers move to 3-0-0 for 2nd straight season
• Walls ties 3rd game winner in as many matches
• Kelter records a goal and an assist in the win

Cara Walls was once again the fuel behind the Badgers fire, as the junior tallied her third game-winning goal in as many games. Despite attracting double teams and being the emphasis of many opponents’ defensive game plans, Walls continues to have her way with opposing defenses, as was the case this evening against Oregon (1-2-0).

Walls tallied her fourth goal of the season in the 76th minute, recording the game-clinching score on a shot that penetrated the back of the Ducks’ net from eight yards out.

“(Cara’s) work rate up top has been great,” Wilkins added. “But the other thing she’s been doing this season that may go unnoticed is she’s helped us keep possession up top.

“I think that has opened up other people to join the attack with her, like Rose (Lavelle) and Kinley (McNicoll) and doing that has freed her up more and allowed her the opportunity to score more goals.”

After conceding a goal with 7.3 seconds left before the intermission, the Badgers (3-0-0) began the second stanza with the same offensive aggressiveness and intensity they started the game with. That aggressiveness finally paid off in the 54th minute as sophomore Kinley McNicoll sent a set piece toward the box, finding Alev Kelter who headed in the equalizer for her first score of the season.

The tying goal was credited to a solid defensive stand from the Badgers who fought off an Oregon team that was looking to put the game away early in the second half by pushing the tempo.

Wilkins shifted freshman Kylie Schwarz from the wing to the middle back position and credited that move to an increase in communication between UW’s defenders. As a result, the Badgers were better able to take on the task of stopping Oregon’s flurry of through balls and set pieces near the box.

The game swung into Wisconsin’s favor midway through the final half, as the Badgers controlled much of the game’s offensive production. Much like they did in the first 45 minutes of action, UW kept the game mainly in their offensive half of the field, connecting on passes, retaining possession and being patient, which eventually led to a drained clock and a panicked Oregon Ducks team.

“All of the games we’ve played so far have taught us something,” Wilkins explained. “Gen (Richard) made a huge save at the end and Cara again got the game-winning goal but the supporting cast is also very deserving of a lot of the credit.

“We played a lot of kids during crucial times in the match so it was a team effort and I think from here they’ll just continue to grow.”

Wisconsin concludes its four-game road trip in Corvallis, Ore., on Sunday when the team takes on Oregon State. Kickoff is slated for 1 p.m. (CT).

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