first_imgThe Wisconsin women’s soccer team and head coach Paula Wilkins have grown more confident as the season has progressed.The Badgers (10-4-3, 7-1-1 Big Ten) are coming off some big wins: one against Michigan, in which the Badgers came back in the last half to score all three winning goals to win 3-2, and the other against Michigan State, which ended in a 1-0 victory for the Badgers.These big wins are helping to instill confidence in the team, Wilkins said during her weekly news conference Monday, and that is what is going to help to carry them through the next few matches.After sustaining the Badgers’ last loss, which came at the hands of Penn State Sept. 17, Wilkins told the team to focus on the games ahead instead of the losses that should be left behind them.Those words helped Wisconsin push to do better, and they came back to produce three shutout matches against Indiana, Purdue and Minnesota.The Badgers will need this new-found confidence as they head into the next few weeks. Following this week’s match against Maryland and next week’s match against Northwestern, the Badgers will begin their playoff season, and they hope to win the Big Ten Conference for the second year in a row.Wisconsin will play Maryland (5-10-1, 0-7-1 Big Ten) Saturday, and even though Maryland is currently last in the Big Ten, Wilkins believes that they are still a team to be concerned about.“Maryland is the best last-place team,” Wilkins said.Wilkins said while Maryland might be winless in conference play, they also haven’t lost a game to a Big Ten team by less than a goal in the last few weeks, which makes them just as competitive as any other Big Ten team.Maryland’s last three losses have come in double overtime, something the Badgers haven’t seen since they played Ohio State a month ago.Wilkins said the Badgers’ seniors, who have scored all of Wisconsin’s six goals in the last three games, will have to keep the team’s energy level up.“All we talk about is getting better in each game,” Wilkins said. “They have, and there’s an energy about them right now.”last_img

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