When rain and chilly weather hit Madison, Wisconsin, last week, it was about the only thing of late to cool off Noah Melick and his teammates.
Melick, a forward for Wisconsin’s men’s soccer team, is one of 10 freshmen on the Badgers’ roster this fall. The young roster, which includes seven sophomores, is 8-1-1 over its past 10 matches after Sunday's 6-3 win over Rutgers in the Big Ten Conference Tournament quarterfinals.
“We expected starting out slow because of how young we are,” Melick said before Sunday's win. “It’s been a lot of fun. We definitely have the potential to do something special.”
Melick, a Jacobs graduate, has provided the Badgers with some special moments during their late-season run.
After missing several games to start the season with a sprained ankle, Melick said he slowly worked his way into earning minutes.
On Oct. 7 against Rutgers, he earned his first career start and scored two goals and had an assist.
“I just wanted to make the best of that (first start),” said Melick, who was named last week to the Big Ten’s All-Freshman Team.
His six goals and two assists this fall included memorable moments against Northwestern and Michigan in back-to-back games.
On Oct. 19 in Madison, he scored in the 108th minute to give the Badgers a double-overtime win.
“That was big because Michigan was ranked 17 at the time,” he said.
Five days later at Northwestern, he scored in the 103rd minute to provide the Badgers (10-5-2) another big moment.
“I had a lot of family members there,” Melick said.
In Sunday's quarterfinal against seventh-seeded Rutgers, Melick helped the second-seeded Badgers to the win with two goals and an assist in the second half.
The big moments have led to some memorable celebrations, such as his post-Michigan fun.
“After I scored, I took my shirt off,” Melick said with a laugh. “It was the first thing that came to my mind. I was so happy. I was like, ‘OK, whatever.’”
Melick and the Badgers face No. 3 seed Michigan in the tournament semifinals at 2:30 p.m. Friday in Westfield, Indiana. The winner advances to the championship match at 11:30 a.m. Sunday. Both matches will be broadcast on the Big Ten Network.
UWW rides Peete to WIAC title: Johnsburg grad Alex Peete rushed for a career-high 154 yards and three touchdowns on Oct. 27 in a 40-10 UW-Whitewater football victory against UW-Stout.
The victory gave Whitewater its record 36th Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference title and an automatic berth to the NCAA Division III playoffs next week.
One of Peete’s TDs against Stout was a 56-yarder, his longest run of the season. The effort was his fourth 100-yard rushing game this season.
Whitewater (9-0 overall, 6-0 WIAC), is ranked No. 4 nationally this week after a 59-7 win over UW-Stevens Point on Saturday. Peete ran for 52 yards and a TD in the win.
Big East accolades: Huntley’s Taryn Jakubowski was one of two Ceighton women’s soccer players to be chosen for the All-Big East women’s soccer team this fall.
Jakubowski made the 11-member first team after leading the Bluejays in goals (5) and points (12). She had two game-winning goals.
Mountain West’s best: Utah State junior cross country runner Luke Beattie (Woodstock) finished 14th at last week’s Mountain West Conference Championship to earn All-MWC second-team honors for the Aggies.
Beattie covered the 8-kilometer race in 25 minutes, 7.2 seconds. The Utah State men finished fifth as a team in the MWC Championships.
Timm among tops in CCIW: Prairie Ridge grad Annie Timm was honored Oct. 26 with a spot on the All-College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin second team in women’s tennis.
A sophomore at Augustana, Timm won the league’s Championship MVP Award after earning the No. 2 doubles title. She posted a 12-2 doubles record and a 15-3 mark in singles.
• Barry Bottino writes a weekly column about local college athletes for the Northwest Herald. Write to him at email@example.com and follow @BarryOnCampus on Twitter.