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first_imgThe Wisconsin women’s soccer team has remained winless in its last three games, two consecutive double-overtime ties against Michigan and Minnesota, and the latest defeat at home Sunday against the Ohio State BuckeyesThe Badgers struggled mightily in the first half, mustering only two shots in the opening 45 minutes. It was not until the second half that Ohio State goalkeeper Katie Baumgardner even had to make a save, quite an uncommon statistic for a Wisconsin team that averages nearly 14 shots per game.Wisconsin head coach Paula Wilkins felt the team simply backed down against an Ohio State team unafraid of go head-to-head on the road.“In the first couple minutes of the game … we are getting around the corner and getting a bunch of corner kicks, and when Ohio State starts to put their physical imprint on the game we stop doing the things that we do well,” Wilkins said.Despite heavy pressure from Ohio State, Wisconsin was able to keep the score tied at zero going into halftime, thanks in part to three saves by senior goalkeeper Michele Dalton.“[We] always play really well together. It starts with communication and leadership back there. Both me and Flann [Meghan Flannery] making sure everyone is attached, and we stay together and we move forward and back together as a defensive unit,” Dalton said. “I think that is how we have always been successful. Unfortunately I think it was a marking error that resulted in the goal, which is something we have been working on, so that makes it a little more frustrating.”The strong defensive effort by the Badgers was ruined when the goal referenced by Dalton was scored less than three minutes into the second half off a header by OSU leading goal scorer, forward Tiffany Cameron.Speed seemed to be what finally got the better of Wisconsin’s defense, especially Cameron’s. The Ohio State forwards were able to consistently get around the corner to create scoring chances and had Wisconsin very much on its heels.“[Ohio State’s speed] probably forced us to sit back a little bit further, [but] when there is somebody who is fast you need to not sit back a little further, you need to be uptight on them and I think that might have been one of our problems; we gave them a little more space than we should have,” defender Meghan Flannery said.The Badgers offense finally got involved in the second half, outshooting the Buckeyes 7-6, but the frantic pace didn’t translate to goals, missing multiple close range opportunities.“In the second they scored early so we pretty much spent the entire second half fighting our way back and knowing that we had to take more chances,” senior forward Laurie Nosbusch said.Following the game was another example of Wilkins feeling the need to hold an intense meeting with players after a game. One was a senior meeting following the 2-1 loss against Central Michigan earlier this season; Sunday’s involved the whole team and Wilkins trying to change their entire mindset.“For the longest time, this program I think we have always responded to what other team have done, their level of play, their mentality of facing them and how they respond to it,” Wilkins said. “I have challenged them to shake that, change the program to where they are consistent and responsible for each other and the impact of the game. Instead of letting somebody else control it, that they start to take control.”The Badgers have a week of practice before taking the field Friday against the Cornhuskers to get it right.“We just need to get back on track,” Nosbusch said. “There is no more motivation in the world than knowing you’re scrapping just to get into the Big Ten Tournament, so that is going to be our motivation and I think that is what is going to drive us to come out and get a win against Nebraska.”last_img read more