#33 Wisconsin Women's Soccer 2014 Preview

Wisconsin Badgers

Overall Rank: #33
#5 Big Ten
#33 Wisconsin Women's Soccer 2014 Preview
Wisconsin Team Page


Wisconsin seemed to be just a piece or two away from making the NCAA Tournament in 2013. They ended up with a respectable 5-5-1 record in Big Ten play and 10-7-2 overall. With a bulk of the lineup returning and a difference maker or two coming into the program, this is a Badgers team that Coach Paula Wilkins will lead to the postseason.

2013 Record: 10-7-2, 5-5-1
2013 Postseason: None
Coach: Paula Wilkins

Returning Leaders:
Goals: Cara Walls, Senior, F, 9
Assists: Kinley McNicoll, Junior, M, 13
Shots: Rose Lavelle, Sophomore, M/F, 73
Saves: Genevieve Richard, Senior, GK, 80

Other Key Returnees: M/F Kodee Williams, M/F Marisa Kresge, M/F Lexi Peterson, M McKenna Meuer, D Kylie Schwarz, D Alexandra Heller, D Brianna Stelzer

Key Losses: M Alev Kelter, M/F Lindsey Holmes

Much of the Wisconsin offense revolved around three players. Cara Walls, Kinley McNicoll and Rose Lavelle accounted for 21 of the team’s 36 goals and 24 of their 33 assists. Walls, a 5-8 senior, is the pure finisher of the group and netted nine goals in 2013. Lavelle has a very high ceiling after tallying six goals and seven assists as a freshman. McNicoll, a junior midfielder, led the Big Ten with 13 assists and added six goals. Those three have worked very well together, but it should get even better with freshman Sydney McGinnis joining the fray. McGinnis, like Walls, is a pure goal scorer and will add another dynamic to the Wisconsin attack.

The defense ranked 129th in the country in goals against average, which was good enough for fifth in the conference, but there is plenty of room for improvement. Keeper Genevieve Richard stepped into a full-time starting position in 2013 and played better as the season progressed. She also has an experienced line in front of her now. Alexandra Heller is the senior leader of the defenders, but much will depend on the improvement of Kylie Schwarz and Brianna Stelzer. Schwarz was thrown into the starting lineup as a freshman and performed well, while Stelzer has just kept getting better and better during her two seasons with the Badgers.

Final Projection:
This is a team that should be at least a little better on both ends of the pitch and there is not far to go for Wisconsin to turn a 10-7-2 season into a 13 or 14 win campaign that includes a trip to the NCAA Tournament. The non-conference slate will be very important with home games against Oregon, Tennessee, South Dakota State and Northern Iowa before a trip to Seattle to take on Washington and Portland. Winning at least four games in that stretch will have the Badgers poised to make a serious run at a conference title.

Projected Postseason: NCAA Tournament

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 1.89 (55th in nation, 5th in conference)
Goals-Against Average: 1.153 (129, 5)
Shutout Percentage: 0.263 (186, 6)
Save Percentage:  0.781 (155, 5)

Madness 2014 Women’s Soccer Recruit Rankings:
#24 Sydney McGinnis


See All College Sports Madness Top 44 Women's Soccer Previews