On Thursday night, the Wisconsin Badgers women’s soccer team ended a short skid of bad results, dispatching Northwestern 1-0 on the road at the Ryan Fieldhouse in Evanston, Ill.
Freshman Ali Fine picked a great time for her first points of the year, as her 77th minute finish put Wisconsin ahead for good, as well as broke the Badgers’ streak of more than 350 consecutive minutes without a goal. Fine did so in “fine” fashion as well, finding the back of the net with a well-placed shot across her body. After taking the lead, Wisconsin was able to hold on despite several late scares from a Wildcat attack that picked up the pace in the final 10 minutes.
The most notable of these flurry of last-gasp chances came in the 88th minute, when a scramble on net produced a ball that looked to have potentially deflected off the hands of a Badger defender before it was cleared away. Despite no small amount of very vocal cries to the referee, however, no penalty was awarded and Wisconsin survived.
Once again the Badgers defense was imperious on the day, recording their second straight shutout. Jordyn Bloomer pitched her usual strong game in net, claiming any loose balls that came her way as well as dealing with the few shots she faced. In front of her, the backline of Macy Monticello, Sammy Kleedtke, Claire Shea and Gabrielle Green was rock solid, as the Northwestern offense struggled to create much in the final third.
The win moves Wisconsin to 4-2-1 on the season, and No. 4 in the Big Ten standings, while Northwestern drops to 3-4. The Badgers will be back in action on Sunday, as they face the Indiana Hoosiers in the second match of a two game away stint.