On Friday afternoon, the Wisconsin Badgers and UC Irvine Anteaters met on George Mason’s pitch in suburban Washington D.C. to see who would move on to the Sweet 16 in the women’s soccer NCAA Tournament. Well, it was basically decided by halftime as the Badgers took a 2-0 lead into the break and added one more goal in the second half to win 3-0.
Sweet, sweet victory!— Wisconsin Soccer (@BadgerWSoccer) November 19, 2021
Next stop: Sweet 16! pic.twitter.com/u2tj2RaHJZ
Paula Wilkins’ squad has now reached the Sweet 16 in three of the last four seasons. On Friday, her team dominated play and were able to get out to an early lead thanks to some free kick wizardry from Natalie Viggiano. With two of her teammates setting some sort of dancing screen, Viggiano wound up and slotted home the game-winning goal in the upper right corner past UCI goalie Glo Hinojosa.
Joyelle Washington banged home the second goal off a nice cross from Viggiano and late in the second half, Maia Cella streaked into the box past the Anteater defense and put a cross that slipped through two Badgers and two Anteaters before finding Izzy Verdugo’s foot.
Wisconsin will play Santa Clara on Sunday in the Sweet 16 after the Broncos upset No. 4 seed Georgetown in overtime. The match will take place at 12:30 p.m. CT in Washington D.C. at the home of the Hoyas.