On a day when most people were inside trying to stay warm, the women golfers of the Big Ten were participating in the 37th annual Big Ten Championship.The tournament was held at University Ridge Golf Course in Verona, and with a temperature of 45 degrees and winds up to 16 mph, conditions were far from ideal.“It was a very challenging day,” Wisconsin head coach Todd Oehrlein said. “The tough conditions made it difficult, but it boils down to character and mental toughness, the willingness to go out there and compete the whole round.”Coach Oehrlein has preached this all year to his team and today was a prime example of why. His players seemed to get the memo.“I don’t mind the bad weather for the most part, because I tend to concentrate on my game more,” UW junior Carly Werwie said. “You just have to make sure not to get frustrated too easily or else you’ll be in for a long day.”Of the 66 participants, Werwie finished tied for seventh with an eight over par. Her teammate, senior Molly Schemm, came into the tournament playing extremely well, finishing the previous two weekends as the top scorer for UW. Schemm ended the fourth round with a 76 and shot 14 over par for the entire tournament, good for 20th place.For the third year in a row, the nation’s eighth-ranked Purdue Boilermakers won the Big Ten Tournament as a team. The winning didn’t stop there, as freshman Boilermaker Laura Gonzalez took first in individuals with an eight under par. It was quite an accomplishment considering the expectations of her prior to the tournament. Without a tournament victory to her name at the collegiate level, not many people felt confident or even considered the idea of Gonzalez having a chance at winning the biggest tournament of the year. This didn’t seem to matter to Gonzalez though, who wasn’t focused on those around her.“I didn’t even realize exactly where I was on the leader board,” Gonzalez said. “I didn’t even want to know.”What made her accomplishment even more impressive was the fact that she shot the rounds low score of 69 on a day where everyone was struggling with the treacherous conditions. In fact, Gonzalez’s three under par was the only sub-par score of the round. In a situation where everyone else seemed to struggle in the bleak weather, Gonzalez shined, which she attributes to her hometown of La Hulpe, Belgium.“Being from Belgium, I’m used to the bad weather,” Gonzalez said.The last round did not go as smoothly for other golfers, including freshman and Madison-native Alyssa Elliot, who finished the tournament 21 over par. When everyone opens up the newspaper and glances at the results, some may chalk up Elliot’s weekend as a struggle, but look further. Until Sunday, Elliot was only nine over par with nine birdies in the first 54 holes.By finishing 48 over par as a team the Badgers placed fourth in the tournament. With this, UW is on the verge of a NCAA Tournament bid. Fans and players can’t help but get excited, but Oehrlein wants to take a more subtle approach.“Let’s just get in first,” he said.But tomorrow’s decision of whether UW will make the tournament will not determine success for the Badgers.“Just to play for Wisconsin is an honor in itself,” Schemm said. “I couldn’t be happier.”
The University of Wisconsin women’s soccer (1-1-2) team battled the Drake Bulldogs (2-0-1) to a 0-0 draw Sunday afternoon at the McClimon Track/Soccer Complex.UW-Madison looked for its second win of the season following a loss at Notre Dame and tie to UW-Milwaukee. But the efforts of Drake goalkeeper Haley Morris and her five saves squashed any hope of victory.The match opened, seemingly one-sided, in favor of the Badgers, yet they were unable to take advantage of numerous opportunities. Throughout the first half, Wisconsin created numerous chances, including nine shots (three on-goal), and spent most of it in Drake’s half, while dominating possession.Wisconsin’s best scoring chance came in minute 19 when midfielder Rose Lavelle followed up a blocked with one of her own that Morris saved. It would not be the only time Lavelle called Morris to action, as the senior tallied eight shots total, three on goal.By turning away Wisconsin’s barrage time and again, Morris increased her scoreless streak to 155 minutes this season.Women’s soccer: Lavelle and Co. welcome Drake in historic first meetingThree games into this 2016 season, the Wisconsin women’s soccer team sits at 1-1-1 with its only win coming against Illinois Read…With so much action taking place at the other end, the Badgers defense had a relatively calm first half and faced just two shots, each of which lacked menace. The more dangerous one was in minute 43 when Wisconsin goalkeeper Caitlyn Clem hauled in a lazy header from Drake midfielder Brooke Salisbury.After the break, UW-Madison did not lose a step offensively and continued to create more chances, but were again unable to capitalize. In minute 56, the Badgers had yet another close call when midfielder Alexis Tye’s shot was brushed over the bar by a diving, finger-tip save from Morris.Despite turning the Badgers away, Drake barely controlled the ball in the the second half and never produced an offensive threat. UW-Madison head coach Paula Wilkins credited her team’s ability to defend against the counter-attack as a major contributor of possession.“[Drake] didn’t get as many numbers forward,” Wilkins said. “They were looking to counterattack us, so we were able to win the first ball coming out and control it that way.”The game would continue into overtime, but with it continuing in the same fashion and neither side finding the back of the net, it continued to be a frustrating affair for the Badgers, who outshot the Bulldogs 24 to 6.“We need to find a way to win,” Wilkins said. “If we get this many opportunities, we’ve got to find a way to do that. I think we have to go back to the drawing board and look at personnel and see what other people can add to our team.”Overtime was not without its excitement though. In minute 98, UW-Madison received a penalty kick, Lavelle poised to take it. Her shot hit the left post, but rebounded back to her where she netted the ensuing volley. Were it not for an offsides call on the play, game would’ve ended on the spot.Freshman Dani Rhodes, who recorded three shots (one on goal), aired her frustrations afterward.“It’s hard to have two overtime games back to back on the weekend,” Rhodes said. “At the end of the day, we have to execute on certain plays. We definitely should have won that game.”With the draw, the Badgers will now travel to California for a tough road trip where they will face No. 3 Stanford University and No. 13 Santa Clara University.