Two for the road: Badgers blank Spartans to remain unbeaten in Big Ten


Game Photo
Wisconsin 18 Wisconsin 2, Michigan State 0
DeMartin Soccer Complex • East Lansing, Mich. • Attendance: 516

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Michigan State

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1st 2nd Final
Wisconsin
1 1 2
Michigan State
0 0 0
Scoring
WIS 26:32 Kinley McNicoll (Cara Walls, Marisa Kresge)
WIS 68:54 Kinley McNicoll (PK)
Goalkeepers Min GA Sv
WIS Richard (7-0-1) 90:00 0 6
MSU Clem (4-2-2) 90:00 2 4
Stats at a Glance WIS MSU
Shots 18 14
Shots on Goal 6 6
Saves 6 4
Offsides 0 0
Corner Kicks 6 5
Yellow Cards 2 1
Red Cards 0 0
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Sept. 29, 2013

EAST LANSING, Mich. -- Two-match weekends can be the downfall of many teams’ conference title and NCAA tournament aspirations.

The No. 18 University of Wisconsin women’s soccer team successfully managed its third two-match road gauntlet of the season on Sunday, outlasting Michigan State, 2-0, at DeMartin Stadium.

Kinley McNicoll did the majority of the heavy lifting for UW’s offense, as the sophomore tallied a pair of scores, one in both halves.

“This wasn’t the prettiest game,” UW head coach Paula Wilkins said. “You have to give a lot of credit to Michigan State, they really challenged us today.

“I think we’ve shown a lot of resilience. I’ve told the players all the time, sometimes it’s not about how pretty you win but good teams find a way through the adversity, whether it’s physical or travel and this team has been really solid in their preparation on the road.”

Fast Facts
• Badgers remain unbeaten on the road this season
• McNicoll takes over team lead in points (20)
• GK Richard earns second-straight shutout

The Badgers (7-1-2, 2-0-1) not only posted their second-straight shutout in Big Ten play, but they did so while playing in hostile territory.

After battling with 13th-ranked Michigan for 110 minutes on Friday, UW shifted its focus to Sunday and delivered its sixth-straight win against the Spartans in what was Wisconsin’s fourth road game in its last six matches.

McNicoll kicked off the scoring with her fifth goal of the season in the 26th minute. The Oakville, Ontario, native sent in a shot from 16 yards out that was deflected by Michigan State keeper Courtney Clem and rolled into the goal.

UW took its 1-0 lead into the intermission and 23 minutes after the half, McNicoll struck again, this time capitalizing on a penalty kick opportunity, her second of the season, to extend the lead to 2-0 and ultimately put the match away.

Despite tying the Spartans (7-2-2, 1-2-0) in shots on goal (6), UW earned more corner kick opportunities than Michigan State and also recorded an 18-14 advantage in shots.

“Being in the Big Ten, winning really matters and one thing I’ve learned over the years is that there are teams that just find ways to do it and as a coach you’ll take that,” Wilkins explained. “I still think it’s early in the Big Ten and our maturity is still coming along but I think these are very good signs as we look at the overall landscape of the conference and the way things have played out as of late.”

Badgers keeper Genevieve Richard earned her second-straight shutout and her third of the season, tallying six saves and remaining unbeaten in net for Wisconsin.  

After a few of the conference’s top teams suffered losses on Sunday, UW returns home following its three-game Big Ten road swing with an added incentive to capitalize on what may become a tightly-contested conference title race down the stretch.

“Now we have to make sure our preparation at home is the same as it is when we are on the road,” Wilkins added. “Sometimes it’s easier to get rid of distractions while on the road and when you’re at home the elements are a little different, so keeping our focus on the goals we want to achieve will be an important thing to keep in mind at home.

“But being in front of our home crowd is always exciting and that support is always important.”

UW returns to the McClimon Complex on Friday, Oct. 4, to welcome defending Big Ten champion Penn State for a 7 p.m. kickoff. The match will be streamed live on InsideBadgerSports.com.

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