Rose Lavelle embraces her past as part of her future

MADISON, Wis. — 11:52 p.m. Dec. 31, 2012. That’s the last time University of Wisconsin soccer star Rose Lavelle last drank Dr. Pepper, one of her favorite soda choices. She jokingly says the reason for that decision was for fear of a soda consumption relapse, but it’s that kind of mental fortitude that makes Lavelle one of the most disciplined and talented players in the nation.

Entering her senior season as a Badger, Lavelle landed on the Big Ten Preseason Honors list, earned a spot on the MAC Hermann Trophy watch list, and was ranked the No. 1 player in the country by Top Drawer Soccer. But she’s not concerned about honors or rankings when she looks back at her career at the UW.

“Probably my biggest thing is just laying it on the line every game and making sure I’m walking off the field knowing that I put everything out there,” Lavelle told the Wisconsin Sports Zone Network. “Honestly, as long as I do that, I can’t be mad at myself.”

Her love of soccer stems from the relationships she built as a young girl in Cincinnati. Lavelle recalled her first trainer, Neil Bradford, who worked with her for roughly six years starting at eight years old. She credits Bradford with making soccer something she wanted to pursue as she got older, taking those talents to the University of Wisconsin and several United States national teams.

Sadly, Bradford passed away on Aug. 28 after colon cancer reappeared just a few months ago. He was originally diagnosed in March of 2010 and given a clean bill of health in 2012. Lavelle will be dedicating her 2016 season to his memory.


Upon learning of Bradford’s death, Lavelle honored the late soccer guru by donning his former No. 8 in a Sept. 1 game against Stanford instead of her well-revered No. 3 kit. Unfortunately, the Badgers would lose that contest 2-1.

On Sept. 9, Wisconsin women’s soccer coach Paula Wilkins recorded her 100th win as head of the program, but instead gave credit to all the players she’s had the chance to work with. That includes Lavelle, who would tell you her relationship with Wilkins is one of the closest she’s had with anyone. But it was a relationship she wasn’t sure would work out when the two first met in 2011 as part of the United States Soccer Olympic Development Program.

“She was my regional coach for ODP and we had gone on an international trip to Holland together with the regional team and I really, really liked her there. Both as a coach and a person. Afterwards, I contacted her and I was actually really, really nervous to contact her because I thought she wouldn’t want me. Basically she was the reason I visited, and a big reason of why I came here. She had confidence in me when I think no one else did and just saw something in me that a lot of people just didn’t see.”

Lavelle hopes that relationship will continue once she’s done at Wisconsin, willing to take any advice Wilkins is able to provide while still focusing on her job with the remaining members of the Badger program.

At the conclusion of the 2016 season, Lavelle will be entering the National Women’s Soccer League Draft, where she’s ranked as the top midfielder in the 2017 class. Some scouting services have Lavelle listed as the best available overall, but a lot depends on her performance in her senior season at Wisconsin because there’s no combine to test players’ skills and abilities.

In seven games so far this season, Lavelle has registered one assist and zero goals on 27 shots, but her 2015 honors may be enough anyway, being named the Big Ten’s Midfielder of the Year. As her time winds down at Wisconsin, she’s making the most of each moment.


The NWSL Draft will be held in Los Angeles Jan. 11-15 with the draft order determined by the results of the 2016 season.

WIAA girls soccer: 12 locals make All-State Team

MILWAUKEE — After play in last weekend’s WIAA State girls soccer tournament, 12 Madison-area players were named to Wisconsin Soccer Coaches Association All-State teams.

1st Team

  • Jen Brien | Oregon F 12

2nd Team

  • Patty Grimmer | Madison West M 12
  • Grace Douglas | Middleton D 12

Honorable Mention

  • Savannah Cruz | Monona Grove F 12
  • Makena Fanning | Oregon F 12
  • Kate Melin | Verona F 12
  • Rachel Peaslee | Madison West F 11
  • Kristen Reikersdorfer | Middleton F 11
  • Sydney King | Mount Horeb M 10
  • Emily Krogman | Verona M 12
  • Abby Breitbach | Oregon GK 11
  • Jamila Hamdan | Madison Edgewood GK 10

WIAA girls soccer: area teams finish runners-up

MILWAUKEE — Madison West, Oregon, and Belleville/New Glarus all ended their seasons with runner-up finishes in the WIAA State girls soccer championships this weekend.

Division 1

Madison West 0, Divine Savior Holy Angels 1

  • DSHA picks up its second Division I championship in the last three years and the fourth overall. Madison West finishes runner-up for the second time in 12 State appearances.

Division 2

Oregon 0, Homestead 0 (Homestead 2-1 SO)

  • Allie Haddad and Jordan Ellerbrock scored shootout goals for Homestead after a scoreless 90 minute period plus 20 minutes of overtime.

Division 3

Belleville/New Glarus 0, Catholic Memorial 5

  • Catholic Memorial got three goals from Emily Cervantes to earn the win. Belleville/New Glarus was out-shot 31-4.

WIAA girls soccer: three area teams battle for titles

MILWAUKEE — The Belleville/New Glarus, Oregon, and Madison West girls soccer teams have advanced to Saturday’s State final matchups played from Uihlein Park in Milwaukee.

Division 3

Belleville/New Glarus vs Catholic Memorial (12 p.m.)

  • Belleville/New Glarus advanced to the State finals after defeating Seymour 1-0 on Thursday. Vanessa Narveson scored her 28th goal of the season in the 86th minute, finding space at the far right post. Both teams put up seven shots  during the contest.

Division 2

Oregon vs Homestead (3 p.m.)

  • Oregon makes a return trip to the State finals after wearing down Pulaski in a 2-0 victory on Friday. Jen Brien scored the first goal of the game at the 66 minute mark after juking past her defender. Brien then assisted Makena Fanning in her 74th minute goal to seal the win.

Division 1

Madison West vs Divine Savior Holy Angels (5 p.m.)

  • Madison West and Eau Claire Memorial played to a 1-1 draw in the semifinal round, getting an 83rd minute goal from Anali Osorio.  Both teams played two scoreless 10-minute periods, leading to a shootout, in which the Regents outlasted the Old Abes 5-3.

WIAA Girls Soccer: State Semifinal Schedule

MILWAUKEE — Three Madison-area girls soccer teams are still in the hunt for State championships, beginning with semifinal matchups Thursday night.

Division 3:

Thursday, June 16
Seymour vs Belleville/New Glarus (5 p.m.)

Division 2:

Friday, June 17
Pulaski vs Oregon (12 p.m.)

Division 1:

Friday, June 17

Championship games for division 3, 2, and 1 will be held on Saturday, June 18 at approximately 12:05 p.m., 3:05 p.m., and 5:05 p.m.

All games will be held at KOHLER Engines Stadium at Uihlein Soccer Park in Milwaukee. State championship games are broadcast on Fox Sports Wisconsin.