Share Your Story: Dean Duerst
This year, like the Big Ten for Women's Championships, Wisconsin Women's Soccer is celebrating 25 years as a program. I will never forget the 1994 Big Ten Women's Soccer Championship. It was the first year women's soccer had eight teams and therefore the first year of a conference tournament, which Wisconsin hosted.
The weekend started with an All-Conference banquet and awards ceremony. Kevin Weinberg was the conference office liaison for women's soccer. As the host head coach, I worked with Kevin and our athletic administrator and other athletic staff on many details to make sure everything ran smoothly. We had already hosted several years of NCAA Championships, so we were well experienced and very excited to take on this new baby.
The banquet was held on Thursday and was enjoyed by all. Friday's weather was decent for November - overcast and about 50 degrees. In order to host the event, a second game field was necessary. We had created a second field at our practice field. We put up a fence around the area, created a ticket entry way and a concession stand. Due to the weather at that time of year we also had team tents next to the team benches. Since this was a first ever Big Ten Championship Tournament for women's soccer, there was a lot of excitement and interest in the brackets, matchups and results. This was a very exciting time for everyone.
The tournament turned out to be a dream for Wisconsin. The 1994 team won the first ever Big ten Tournament Championship hosted in Madison, Wis, beating Indiana (1-0), Michigan (2-0) and Minnesota (3-0) in the final.