Badger’s late goal forces Nebraska to settle for 1-1 tie against Wisconsin – Nebraska Soccer

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Nebraska football came close to holding on for a win against Wisconsin to open conference play on Friday night.

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After scoring early and leading 1-0 at the half, the Huskers were on the defensive for much of the final 45 minutes. They shot seven times at the break and didn’t get an eighth until the 81st minute. Still, they survived numerous Badger chances, including a sequence of three shots in less than a minute.

The defensive effort, however, did not last until the final whistle. Wisconsin’s equalizer came in the 88th minute, when Maia Richters’ cross reached Riley Philbin, who put it in the net. As the toss ended, Husker star Eleanor Dale hit the turf in frustration.

“To be honest, it feels like a loss,” Dale said after the game.

Nebraska won six of its nine games and the other three came in similar fashion. In a tie against Creighton and a loss to Saint Louis, the opponent scored its last goal in the last 10 minutes.

“It’s something we struggled with as a team, you know, look at the Saint Louis game, we did the exact same thing,” Dale said. “And we know we have to work on that.”

The offense did not give its usual performance either. Nebraska was held to fewer than two goals for the first time this season, although the first was scored by a familiar face. Thanks to an impressive assist from Jordan Zade, Dale scored his 13th goal of the season, a number that currently leads Division I. He had more chances later, most of which ended in disappointing fashion.

That included a couple of late efforts. Nebraska sent a cross to Dale for the team’s first shot of the second half, but he was easily stopped when a defender prevented him from taking a higher quality shot. Another pass was made too far from the forward as the Wisconsin goalie picked it up.

At halftime, tribute was paid to the 2013 Husker team. That team won the Big Ten Championship and that year was also the last time Nebraska scored more than one goal against the Badgers. Since then, the Huskers have only recorded one victory over Wisconsin, a 1-0 win in 2021.

Despite the team’s frustration, this wasn’t necessarily a bad result for a team that is now 6-1-2. Wisconsin’s only loss so far this year came against a ranked Duke team, while it also forced a tie against No. 2 North Carolina.

Another positive was the crowd. The attendance of 1,771 was the second-highest for the program at Hibner Stadium, trailing only a 2015 game against North Carolina.

Nebraska’s next game will be next Thursday on the road against Ohio State before a road matchup with Penn State three days later. The latter is currently in the top 10, giving the Huskers a chance for a big win.

This game, however, showed Dale and the team that there is work to do if they want to build on their fast start to the season.

“I think it shows how difficult the conference is,” Dale said. “Even like tonight, once again, you can’t end the game early because all the teams we’re going to play now are the best teams. So we have to be consistent throughout the game.”


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