The Nebraska soccer team lost to the No. 10 Wisconsin Badgers (11-2-2, 7-0-1 Big Ten) 2-0 in Madison, Wisconsin, on Sunday. With the loss, the Huskers fall to 4-9-4 on the season and 3-5-2 in conference play. The loss drops the Huskers from 8th to 9th in the conference standings, while the Badgers passed Michigan for first place.
To start out, there was solid defense from Wisconsin, despite two Nebraska corners in the first five minutes. The Badgers had multiple chances from runs into the box, but were unable to produce. Seven minutes into the game, senior midfielder Meg Brandt had the first shot on goal for either team, but couldn’t score the chance. Ten minutes in, Wisconsin had a free kick off of a foul from sophomore defender Olivia Brown, but failed to score.
Over the next 10 minutes, both teams played disorganized, lacking any sustained offensive attacks. In the 20th minute, Wisconsin junior midfielder Maia Cella broke through the Husker defense and went striding into an attacking position until she was taken down from behind just outside of the penalty area by Huskers senior defender Sinclaire Miramontez. A foul was called and Badgers redshirt junior defender Claire Shea took the free kick. Shea tried to sneak a shot under the Nebraska wall, but the shot was deflected off of the Nebraska defenders and away from danger.
After a continued offensive assault, the Badgers finally broke through in the 32nd minute. Senior goalkeeper Aubrei Corder caught a free kick inside the six-yard box, but lost possession on the way down and the ball was tapped in by freshman forward Emma Jaskaniec.
In the final 10 minutes of the first half, both teams created a nice attacking threat with both teams having multiple chances on goal. While neither team scored, both had clearly developed a rhythm.
In the 50th minute, off a nice cross into the box, Jaskaniek had a touch of the ball redirecting it towards goal, but it was stopped by a great save by Corder. Then in the 66th minute, Corder had another great save, this time off a point blank range shot from Wisconsin junior forward Cameron Murtha.
In the 68th minute, the Badgers had a corner that Huskers temporarily defended. The ball was then corralled outside the box by Wisconsin senior forward Dani Rhodes, who set up Murtha, who slotted it into the bottom right corner of the net for her team-leading ninth goal of the season.
Another blow for the Huskers came in the 75th minute when freshman defender Mila Gretzky went down with an undisclosed head injury after taking an elbow to the head in a fight for a free ball.
In the final 15 minutes neither team was able to create any traction offensively, leaving the game to end 2-0 in favor of Wisconsin. The loss drops the Huskers from 8th to 9th in the conference, which is important because only the top eight teams in the conference standings advance to the Big Ten tournament.
The final game of the season for Nebraska sees it return to Barbara Hibner Stadium to face Penn State on Senior Night. The Huskers can make the Big Ten tournament if they beat Penn State and Maryland loses one of its final two games, or if Maryland loses both of its final two games. This is due to Nebraska owning the tiebreaker over Maryland, as the Huskers beat the Terrapins 2-0 on Oct. 11.