Stalemate: No. 18 Badgers battle 13th-ranked Michigan to scoreless draw


Game Photo
Wisconsin 18 Wisconsin 0, 13 Michigan 0
U-M Soccer Stadium • Ann Arbor, Mich. • Attendance: 1,273

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Michigan

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1st 2nd OT 2OT Final
Wisconsin
0 0 0 0 0
Michigan
0 0 0 0 0
Goalkeepers Min GA Sv
WIS Richard (6-0-1) 110:00 0 3
MICH Bucklin (7-1-1) 110:00 0 7
Stats at a Glance WIS MICH
Shots 13 13
Shots on Goal 8 3
Saves 3 8
Offsides 1 0
Corner Kicks 5 4
Yellow Cards 1 0
Red Cards 0 0
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Sept. 27, 2012

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- The University of Wisconsin women’s soccer team has earned a reputation as one of the toughest road teams, not only in the Big Ten but in the country. That claim continued to hold water as the No. 18 Badgers battled the 13th-ranked Michigan Wolverines to a scoreless draw at U-M Soccer Stadium on Friday.

Not even 110 minutes of action could decide a winner in this Big Ten defensive battle. The Badgers (6-1-2, 1-0-1 Big Ten) attempted eight shots on goal and held Michigan to a season-low three.

“I always tell them that I don’t want this ever be an excuse but I think they got a little older today and I think that’s pretty exciting,” UW head coach Paula Wilkins said. “I think they took another step in terms of mentality.

“Michigan is a very good team and this is always a tough environment to play in. I’m not satisfied with the shutout and I don’t think they are either but I believe the overall growth they made today is important.”

Fast Facts
• UW held Michigan to a season-low 3 shots on goal
• GK Richard remains unbeaten following three saves
• Badgers extend unbeaten road streak to 8 games

Winners of 16 of their last 18 matches at home, the Wolverines (7-1-1, 1-0-1 Big Ten) saw a lot of opportunities to strike gold early in the first half but a stout defensive stand from UW halted any chance of a score from the Michigan front line.

“We started off a little slow,” Wilkins said. “They put us under pressure pretty quickly and we weren’t able to adapt to that pressure and what they were throwing at us tactically.

“As the game wore on, we did much better and as we started gaining confidence we did well.”

Wisconsin nearly ended the match eight minutes into the first overtime period, as junior Cara Walls sent a sniper from 20 yards out that was deflected by a Michigan defender and missed the post by inches. Walls was able to beat Michigan keeper Taylor Bucklin but the deflection misdirected the ball just enough to send it off of its path, resulting in a corner kick.

The Badgers earned five corner kicks on the night, allowing just four from the Wolverines.

Michigan saw its greatest opportunity at a score crumble to pieces midway through the first half as Genevieve Richard stone-walled a one-on-one chance by Michigan’s Nkem Ezurike. The senior, who tallied two of the Wolverines’ three shots on goal, had a wide open look from 25 yards out but Richard charged as Ezurike wound up for the shot and blocked the attempt, resulting in a clear for the Badgers.

The physical match had the characteristics of a traditional Big Ten battle from the start as both squads struggled to find good looks on goal and were also unable to muster enough momentum to spark any relevant scoring opportunities in the later stages of the match.

Wisconsin concludes its Big Ten road swing on Sunday when it visits Michigan State. Kickoff from the DeMartin Soccer Complex is slated for noon CT.  

“The biggest thing for us is that we’ve been on the road for a bit and we know the routine so we know sleep and recovery are going to be important,” Wilkins explained. “It’s always a challenge to play two games in a weekend, especially coming off a long, grueling match like this one tonight but I think it’s a good test for this group.”

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