Senior midfielder/forward Amy Vermeulen scored the game-winning goal with 17 seconds remaining to send the women's soccer team to the Big Ten title game. The Badgers, who defeated third-seed Michigan State 2-1 Friday, will face Michigan Sunday in Ann Arbor.
Senior defender Jessica Ring scored Wisconsin's first goal 30 minutes into the game, with help from senior midfielder Marisa Brown, who also helped on Vermeulen's goal.
"It was a game about who would have it at the end," said Dean Duerst, Wisconsin's head coach. "In the last 20 minutes we took over the game and they were in a mode of counter-attacking, which is always dangerous. It was simply a great finish by a great senior captain who has been our leading scorer all year. It was a team effort and we played our game in the second half."
Michigan State senior forward Emma Harris notched the Spartans' lone goal at 22:11 in the game and Ring scored the third goal of her career eight minutes later to tie the game at 1-1. Vermeulen's score was the lone goal in the second half. Wisconsin sophomore goaltender Lynn Murray had one save while MSU sophomore Nicole Galas had two. Wisconsin outshot MSU 18-10 and held a 5-3 advantage on corner kicks.
"We are here to win and ensure an NCAA tournament bid," Duerst said. "This is our opportunity. We had a really difficult stretch to our season where we lost four overtime games. This is our chance to just redeem ourselves. We are playing our very best soccer."
Volleyball: Badgers squeak by Illini
Illinois put up a fight Friday at the UW Field House but the No. 10 Badgers held on for a 3-2 win that gives the latter sole possession of second place in the conference.
Wisconsin won its first and third games, 30-22 and 30-24, respectively, but dropped the second and fourth 22-30 and 26-30 to push a fifth game. The Badgers were tied at 9-9 before redshirt freshman Audra Jeffers notched one of her 16 kills to give the Badgers the lead. Wisconsin went on a 5-1 run, beginning with two key blocks, to win.
Senior outside hitter Aubrey Meierotto led the Badgers with 19 kills and added a career-high eight blocks. Senior outside hitter Rachel VanMeter put up a match-high 26 kills for Illinois (13-11, 4-9) and topped 1,500 career kills. Illinois gave up 13 points on service errors and had two aces; the Badgers had three service errors and no aces.
Senior setter Katie Lorenzen came off the bench to spell sophomore setter Jackie Simpson, who had 15 assists. Lorenzen added 37 assists.
"(Lorenzen) just changes the tempo of the game," said Waite. "It's not that (Simpson) was doing anything badly, we just weren't in a good rhythm as a team at that time. That's the nice thing about having two good setters this year, we've seen them step in at any given time and contribute."
Wisconsin out-blocked Illinois 15-8 with help from sophomore middle blocker Taylor Reineke, who led all teams with 10 blocks. Sophomore libero Jocelyn Wack put up a season-high 33 digs and extended her streak of double-figure digs to 53 straight matches. She now holds the longest active streak in the nation and is fourth on the NCAA's all-time list.
Wrestling: Badgers crush Titans
The Wisconsin wrestling team opened its season with a 51-0 win over the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh in Green Bay Friday, with the Badgers taking all 10 matches. The Badgers have now won 17 consecutive season-openers.
True freshman Kyle Reeve, competing at 125 pounds, pinned his opponent 4:49 into his match to open the meet. From there, it was all Wisconsin, as redshirt freshman Dan Sneider earned a forfeit victory at 133 pounds and sophomore Tyler Clark and sophomore Matt Maciag took a major decision victories at 165 pounds and 184 pounds, respectively. Sohpomore Craig Henning (157), redshirt freshman Dallas Herbst (197) and redshirt freshman Kyle Massey (heavyweight) all pinned their opponents. Senior Kelly Flaherty (174), redshirt freshman Zach Tanelli (141) and senior Tony Turner (149) also defeated their opponents.
Women's hockey: Badgers score three power play goals in win
The No. 3 Wisconsin women's hockey team used its penalty kill to its advantage Friday night as the Badgers defeated St. Cloud State 5-2 in Madison. Three of Wisconsin's five goals — scored by junior forward Sara Bauer, junior defenseman Bobbi-Jo Slusar and freshman forward Kayla Hagen — were scored on the power play. The win brings Wisconsin to 7-1-0 overall and 5-1-0 in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, while St. Cloud State falls to 2-5 in the conference and overall.
Bauer, sophomore forward Jinelle Zaugg and Slusar all notched goals in the first period, making the score 3-0 heading into the break. The Huskies generated some offense in the second period when sophomore forward Laura Fast scored an unassisted goal to narrow Wisconsin's lead to two goals. But Hagen scored her power-play goal four minutes into the last period to put the Badgers up 4-1. St. Cloud State junior forward Hailey Clarkson took advantage of Wisconsin penalties and scored the Huskies' other goal on a power play with about a minute left to go. Zaugg scored her second goal of the game on a short-handed empty-netter with 30 seconds left in the game to bring the score to 5-2.
Bauer also recorded a game-high three assists to go with her goal.
In the net, Badger senior goaltender Meghan Horras had 25 saves while St. Cloud junior netminder Lauri St. Jacques stopped 33 pucks.
Swimming: Women sweep quad meet; men defeat Louisville
The Wisconsin men's and women's swimming and diving teams joined Louisville, Southern Illinois and Indiana to compete at a quad meet Friday in Bloomington, Ind. The women swept their opponents and the men defeated Louisville 131-93 but fell to Indiana 120-106 and Southern Illinois 123-105.
For the women, senior Anna Trinidad, senior Sarah Hernandez, freshman Yi Ting Siow and freshman Jennifer Illescas all won two events each as the Badgers swept the top three spots in four events and the top two spots in eight events.
Junior Tom Molzahn led his team with a win in the 500-yard freestyle at 4 minutes, 35.21 seconds, and a second-place finish in the 200-yard freestyle in 1:40.71.
Women's tennis: Burke falls in round of 16
Caitlin Burke, a junior on the Wisconsin women' tennis team, advanced to the Intercollegiate Tennis Association Intercollegiate Indoor Championship's round of 16 before falling to No. 10 Alice Barnes of Stanford Friday in Columbus, Ohio.
Burke, ranked No. 32, fell 7-5 and 6-3. She previously defeated South Nazarene's Lakirah Russell, 6-2, 6-2 in the first round of the tournament.