Aug. 20, 2008
Head Coach Paula Wilkins begins her second season as head coach of the Wisconsin Badgers with a 125-30-12 career record, the third-highest winning percentage in the nation among active coaches. With a year under her belt Wilkins has focused the program on adopting a new philosophy and building a culture of success. Prior to her time at UW Wilkins secured a successful six-year tenure at Penn State. As the Nittany Lions head coach, Wilkins claimed six Big Ten conference championships, earned six NCAA berths and charted a 119-19-11 (.836) record.
Associate Coach Tim Rosenfeld enters his second season at Wisconsin after spending the last six years at Penn State alongside Wilkins. Rosenfeld was instrumental in the program’s continuous success. He helped lead the Nittany Lions to six straight Big Ten regular season titles, as well as six NCAA berths.
Assistant Coach Patrick Farmer comes to Wisconsin after having several years of experience as the head coach of women’s soccer teams such as Syracuse, Penn State, Ithaca and Tennessee Tech. Farmer built the Penn State program with Wilkins as his assistant from 1994-2000. Farmer led Syracuse to the 2005 Big East Tournament for the first time since 2001.
With several years of experience working together Wilkins, Rosenfeld and Farmer share a solid relationship that will provide a great soccer atmosphere for the players. All the coaches have experience in developing great soccer players and together they plan to create a path to success for all the players. With high levels of experience they are accustomed to developing All-Americans and National Team players.
Seniors Taylor Walsh and Jamie Klages will serve as the co-captains for the 2008 season. Leadership will be an important role for the captains especially with so many young new faces. Of the 29 players on the roster, 21 of them have freshman or sophomore eligibility
With the loss of six seniors, numerous players will be expected to step up and score in 2008. Walsh and fellow senior Tricia Krombach led the team in goals in 2007 with four each, and adding one and two assists, respectively. In addition, junior Krista Liskevych was a force on offense taking 36 shots, with 11 shots on goal and one score.
Wisconsin returns 13 letterwinners, including seven starters from the 2007 season: Klages (GK), Whitney Owusu (D), Birdie Liebham (D), Taryn Francel (D), Walsh (F), Krombach (F), and Liskevych (MF). Liebham started all 18 games as a freshman, while Walsh and Liskevych started each game they played in, missing one and two games respectively.
Klages returns for her senior campaign after tallying six shutouts in 2007. Klages had 60 saves in 16 games for the Badgers.
Walsh is one of the leading offensive threats piloting the team in shots and goals. Walsh took 37 shots and ten were shots on goal. She also had two game-winning goals for the Badgers.
The Badgers welcome 12 incoming freshmen who ranked as the 21st-best recruiting class in the nation, marking a record-high ranking for Wisconsin. The freshmen range from all different specialties and hometowns.
Freshmen Laurie Nosbusch and Krista Lundgren were both ranked recruits entering the 2008 season. Nosbusch was the 26th-best recruit in the nation while Lundgren made the top-200. Paige Adams and Rita Keimakh were not eligible for the rankings but were listed as the Top International Recruits. Nosbusch, Keimakh and Adams played on National teams over the summer. Nosbusch led the U.S. U-18 women’s national team in goals and Adams scored for the Canada’s women’s U-20 national team to qualify them for the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Chile 2008.
Along with the freshmen class, the Badgers welcome junior transfer Amy Szilard from East Carolina. The forward/midfielder was a two-year starter for the Pirates and was named the team’s offensive player of the year in 2006.
The Badgers open the season at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee before hosting University of Wisconsin-Green Bay and Western Michigan at home.
The Badgers will travel to the Indiana Invitational where they will play Cal Poly and Vermont. The UW women’s soccer team will then travel to Massachusetts to play Boston University and Harvard to close out the seven-game non-conference schedule.
In the NSCAA/ADIDAS final Top 25 poll from 2007, three teams on Wisconsin’s upcoming Big Ten schedule finished in the top 25, while one additional team received votes. Penn State stood in 12th, Purdue in 16th and Indiana in 21st, while Illinois received votes proving the difficulty of the Big Ten Conference.
Eight players earned Academic All-Big Ten honors in 2007, including four current Badgers: Sheri Ferron, Stephanie Krombach, Liskevych and Walsh.