[TOP 25 SPOTLIGHT] Wisconsin returned to the Soccer America Women's Top 25 for the second time this season following its 1-0 win over red-hot Penn State in their Big Ten opener on Saturday in Madison. The win evened the series at 2-2-1 since Paula Wilkins came from Penn State to become head coach of the No. 19 Badgers in 2007.
The lone goal was scored in the 11th minute when Lindsey Johnson flip throw from the far side of the field found Joana Bielefeld, who got a head on it and passed it to Laura Nosbusch, who poked it past PSU goalkeeper Erin McNulty for her fourth goal of the season. She now sits all alone in fifth place at Wisconsin with 26 career goals.
Michele Dalton stopped seven shots in posting her third shutout of the season and the 21st of her career, but the key to the win was shutting down Nittany Lion star Maya Hayes, who entered the game as the nation's leading scorer with 12 goals.
Hayes did not even attempt a shot.
“I thought we just brought the mentality that we were going to win balls and not let them settle it because they are a great technical team and a great tactical team with their spacing,” Wilkins said. “We wanted to make sure they didn’t have any clear possessions.”
Penn State came out aggressively in the second half, owning a 7-1 lead in shots, but Dalton made a crucial save in the 68th minute.
The win was the Badgers' second over a ranked team. They also beat Dayton, 3-1, handing the Flyers their only loss in nine games.
Wisconsin's only losses have come to ranked Notre Dame, Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Central Michigan.