Aug. 7, 2014
BY BRANDON HARRISON
UW Athletic Communications
With Wisconsin women's soccer beginning preseason this week, we sat down with head coach Paula Wilkins and covered a number of topics heading into 2014. Each day this week, we'll expand on discussed topics, such as keys to 2014, Badgers in the U-20 World Cup, veteran experience and leadership, players to watch and the impact of freshmen.
The Badgers report for team meetings on Tuesday, then hit the field for the first time Wednesday morning for fitness testing. The group will face Marquette in an exhibition matchup on Aug. 14, then officially begin the season Aug. 22 at home against Oregon.
• Monday: Three Keys to 2014
• Tuesday: Badgers in the World Cup
• Wednesday: Veteran Experience
• Thursday: Players to Watch
• Friday: Freshmen Impact
MADISON, Wis. -- With the inevitable peaks and valleys any team is bound to experience during the course of a season, consistency often plays a key role in the success of a group and its ability to fight through adversity or keep a level head amid success.
This is no exception for the Badgers, who have the fortune of returning a number of players that will be able to step right in again this season and know what is expected of them.
After starting last season 6-1-1, including four of those six wins coming on the road, UW went on to finish 4-6-1. This season, UW looks to capture that momentum and sustain it over the course of a season, rather than unleashing it in spurts.
According to head coach Paula Wilkins, some of the Badgers to watch that could help that cause are Alexandra Heller, McKenna Meuer, Kylie Schwarz and Brianna Stelzer.
WILKINS: “Watching during the offseason, Stelzer and the work she’s done (is important). She spent a lot of time this summer improving herself and from what I’ve seen so far it's been good. Schwarz is coming off injury, but how she comes back and how she’s able to deal with being in the back is going to be important. Along with the 'Steady Bettys' like Meuer and Heller, all of those players being consistent is going to be important.”
Even some of the newcomers have already begun to catch the eye of Wilkins and her staff.
WILKINS: "Sydney McGinnis is dealing with a little bit of an injury right now, but I think she’s going to have a factor for us. Another freshman is Becca Harrison. She’s been here working camp and some of her creative stuff is going to be fun if we can get her involved. I think those players are going to be fun to watch and some of the new exciting ones."