Badgers women's soccer tops DePaul 2-0 to advance in NCAA tourna - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Badgers women's soccer tops DePaul 2-0 to advance in NCAA tournament

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MADISON, Wis. – The fourth-seeded Wisconsin women's soccer team earned a 2-0 win over DePaul hosting their first-round match of the NCAA tournament on a snowy night in Madison at the McClimon Complex on Saturday. 

Senior forward Cara Walls scored two first-half goals to give the No. 9 Badgers (19-2-2) an early 2-0 lead. Fifth-year senior goalkeeper Genevieve Richard and UW's backline then went to work on preserving their 18th shutout of the season and closed out the win.

"It's really exciting to get a victory today,” UW head coach Paula Wilkins said. “Going into this game I had a lot of respect for DePaul. They had a great season being undefeated. I've only done it once in my career, and I know how hard that is. We knew we were going to be faced with some challenges that they brought, and it was well proven in this game with the conditions and their spirit.

“It was a well fought game, huge respect to them. I'm just excited I get to keep dancing with this group."

Richard made five saves on the night to stymy the No. 13 Blue Demons (16-1-4) and earned her 16th individual shutout of the season, a new school record.

Walls scored the first of her two goals within the 13th minute, heading the ball off an assist from Kinley McNicoll. The second goal of the night for Walls came a little over eight minutes later, as the Wauwatosa native struck again in the 21st minute on an assist from Kodee Williams.

The goals marked the team-leading 13th and 14th of the season for Walls.

McNicoll recorded her team-leading 27th point. She has recorded at least one point in 12-of-23 matches this season for UW.

With Saturday night's victory, Wisconsin advanced to the second round of the NCAA tournament and will play UCF after it defeated Georgia in its first-round match. The Badgers and UCF will face Nov. 21 in Tallahassee, Florida, as No. 1 seed Florida State will play host to the second and third round games of the bracket.

"I think the players are excited to be in a little bit warmer climate,” Wilkins said. “But, it's definitely not going to be a vacation for us. They are going to be focused and they have some goals in mind. It will be very exciting."

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