Women’s soccer: Badgers surprise in NCAA, fall short in second round to Gators

first_imgThe University of Wisconsin Badgers women’s soccer team hoped to continue their impressive run in Gainesville, Florida as they took on the University of Florida Gators in the second round of the NCAA tournament, but they came up short in double overtime.The loss came a week after the Badgers advanced past the first round with a win over Marquette University. Their reward, facing the number one-seeded Gators. In a back and forth battle, the Badgers’ (9-5-8) season came to an end in a 3-2 double overtime loss.Women’s soccer: Wisconsin takes on No. 1 seed Florida in second round of NCAA TournamentSports can be cruel, and sometimes to a certain extent it almost appears as if the game taunts the players Read…The game would go into halftime scoreless as the Badgers managed to keep the high scoring Gators in check. Wisconsin’s goalkeeper, Caitlyn Clem, recorded eight saves — a career high for Clem. The match proved to be a defensive battle throughout, but by the time the second half started, it seemed like a different game.Florida would break the scoreless tie 53rd minute on a penalty kick goal by Meggie Dougherty Howard. Thirteen minutes later, the Badgers would earn a penalty kick of their own. Senior midfielder, Micaela Powers, confused Gator goalkeeper, Kaylan Marckese, who dove for the left goal post while Powers sent it for the right side, delivering the equalizer at one. The goal was Powers’ fifth of the season.For a brief moment in the second half, the Badgers had the advantage and the top-seeded Gators on the ropes. In the 77th minute, Wisconsin took a 2-1 lead on a goal from freshman forward sensation, Dani Rhodes. The goal served as Rhodes’ fourth of the year, delivered in from junior forward, Sydney McGinnis.Florida outshot Wisconsin 18-13 in the game, besting the Badgers in shots on goal 11-5 and winning the corner kick battle, 7-1. Despite all this, the Badgers were less than 14 minutes away from completing a remarkable upset and moving on to the third round.The excitement of an advantage would almost immediately be shattered as the Gators scored just over a minute later. On a corner kick, Florida managed to tie the game on an own goal by Wisconsin in the 78th minute. The game would go into overtime knotted up at two apiece.Both teams would go scoreless in the first overtime and forced the game into to a double overtime period, the last stage before penalty kicks. The game was decided in the 107th minute when Brooke Sharp of Florida beat Clem from five yards out to send the Gators to the Sweet Sixteen.With the loss, six seniors will say goodbye to the Cardinal and White, including star player Rose Lavelle, Powers, Meghan Ledin, Holly Heckendorf, Morgan Taylor and Kylie Schwarz. This season saw a number of successes. The appearance in the second round marked Wisconsin’s 10th time to accomplish such a feat. Head coach, Paula Wilkins, also completed a milestone of her own getting her 100th win with Wisconsin.Women’s soccer: Late-season collapse costs Badgers NCAA BidWith five teams receiving bids, the Big Ten conference will be well represented in the upcoming NCAA tournament for women’s Read…In what some would call a rebuilding year, the Badgers showed some positive signs that could convince the biggest skeptics that the Badgers have a bright future on the horizon. Wilkins and Wisconsin now approach spring play with a lot to hang their hat on after a remarkable postseason run this fall.last_img read more

Lessons from the best (and worst) of Sporting News’ college football predictions since 2014

first_imgI’ve learned the college football fans not only think bowl projections are meaningless — they also love to pick apart those projections apart on a weekly basis.  I will hold myself accountable. Over the last six years, I hit on 13 of 24 playoff teams (54 percent) and seven of the 12 championship game participants (58 percent). So I’m a little more than half right on these things, which is fine.  Admit it. Bowl projections are fun, even when you’re wrong. The playoff picks are the most important part, so I looked back at the last seven years to see just how meaningless those picks were. Enjoy.  *Denotes picked to make championship game  COLLEGE FOOTBALL 2020:Preseason top 25 rankings, bowl projections, All-Americans and more2014  SN playoff picks: Alabama vs. Oklahoma*, Florida State vs. Oregon*  Who we got right: Alabama, Florida State, Oregon  Who we missed: Ohio State  Looking back: Not bad for the first year. Nailed the Florida State-Oregon semifinal and had the Ducks in the championship game. The problem is the Oklahoma pick. The Sooners lost five games that season, which led to the hiring of offensive coordinator and future coach Lincoln Riley.  2015 SN playoff picks: TCU vs. Ohio State*, Auburn vs. Oregon*  Who we got right: None   Who we missed: Alabama, Michigan State, Clemson, Oklahoma  Looking back: This was the only year I didn’t get one playoff team right. We fell for the Jeremy Johnson hype on an Auburn team that lost six games. Oregon lost four games with Vernon Adams. Ohio State and TCU were legit playoff contenders, but this was a year we should have just bet on Bama.  2016 SN playoff picks: Alabama* vs. Ohio State, Clemson* vs. Oklahoma Who we got right: Alabama, Ohio State, Clemson  Who we missed: Washington  Looking back: We were close to the clean sweep, but Oklahoma finished with two losses and ended up at No. 7 in the final College Football Playoff rankings. This is where the pick Alabama-Clemson every year trend started, but I messed that up the following year. 2017 SN playoff picks: USC* vs. Florida State, Alabama* vs. Ohio State Who we got right: Alabama  Who we missed: Clemson, Georgia, Oklahoma  Looking back: We went all in on USC with Sam Darnold following their victory in the Rose Bowl against Penn State the previous season. The Trojans lost at Washington State and Notre Dame in the regular season. We missed Oklahoma again and didn’t account for the two-SEC team scenario. That’s hard to pick in a four-team playoff.  2018 SN playoff picks: Alabama* vs. Oklahoma, Clemson* vs. Ohio State  Who we got right: Alabama, Clemson, Oklahoma  Who we missed: Notre Dame  Looking back: Three of four again. We have picked the Buckeyes to make the Playoff every year since the first one, and the argument between Ohio State and Oklahoma for that final spot was intense. We didn’t account for Notre Dame breaking through with an undefeated regular season.  2019 SN playoff picks: Clemson* vs. Texas, Alabama* vs. Ohio State  Who we got right: Clemson, Alabama, Ohio State  Who we missed: Texas   Looking back: We thought Texas was back. The Longhorns’ season fell apart after early-season losses to LSU – the eventual national champion; and Oklahoma – another playoff team. We don’t regret the pick given we got everything else right.  2020 SN playoff picks: Ohio State* vs. Oklahoma, Clemson* vs. Alabama  What we’re counting on: More of the same. These schools have combined for 17 of the 24 CFP appearances, and we have already picked this combination in 2016 and 2018. Unless there are two SEC teams again, then it’s a good bet at least three of these teams make the playoff. Who else are you going to pick? “Bowl projections are meaningless!”  That’s the battle cry you’ll hear most when you release picks for 44 bowls this time of year. You should see the emails and tweets. I started doing bowl projections for Sporting News in 2014 — the first year of the College Football Playoff.  last_img read more